My latest "Conversation" blog
CONVERSATION WITH GOD: Jan 2018
Think about this for a minute… Us believers have a history of driving nails through God and pinning him exactly where we want him to be. It’s uncomfortable but true, it was us believers who nailed him up there.
We listened to Religion that time too, we obeyed him, that great dark Lord who accuses us in a voice he pretends is God’s. We listened to his lies about sin and judgement, hell and condemnation. We listened to what he said the ancient scriptures meant. We didn’t have to, God was right there in front of us urging us to believe he didn’t condemn us. We could have asked him, but we didn’t.
We listened to Religion tell us this God-Man’s message was ‘unscriptural’ and much too lenient and merciful – we listened to his lies so long we believed him and so we nailed God to a tree.
And think about this too for a minute… Us believers, we’re still human, still gullible like that. Religion is still allowed to accuse and rule us with his lies about God. ‘Old dispensation’, ‘new dispensation’, it doesn’t matter, it’s all just so much jargon. The point is this, Religion, that crafty wily demon, is still allowed to twist what our teachers say about the ancient scriptures. Can you imagine that?
We nailed God up once before because he wouldn’t follow our rules, and now, daily, we, me and you, we still make rules that God has to follow. Just like before, if he doesn’t fit with what we think, we refuse to believe him. He has to listen to our interpretation of the Bible, he’s not allowed to tell us his. We think we already know what it means. Can you imagine that?!?
Imagine if we were courageous enough to realise that yes, us believers, in all our sects, denominations and world-famous churches, really are capable of blocking our ears to God. Imagine if we had the courage to shake off all our rules and customs and ‘teachers’ and ‘prophets’ and just hear God speak. Would that be too scary, or would it be wonderful?
Imagine if we began to hear him speak in full sentences and paragraphs and our brains were free to think again. How cool would that be, for us and those around us who we keep pushing away from God with all the rules Religion teaches us. Imagine if we were able to think, just us and God thinking together, instead of our religious bosses having to think for us. Can you imagine that?
Imagine if we had the courage, and our ‘teachers’ and ‘prophets’ had the courage too, to realise that just like we did once before, we’re nailing God up again – nailing him to all the rules and regulations that wily Accuser Religion has told us are true. Imagine what it would look like if we had that much courage and we weren’t afraid of what Religion and his servants might do to us.
Jeremiah had that much courage, so did Elijah. And Jesus, Paul and Peter. And Luther, and Luther-King too. Can you imagine them in some of our pews, can you imagine them believing the stuff we get told, just sucking it up instead of asking God himself – it wouldn’t look right on them would it? They looked a lot better on their own, out there in the world, hearing God say things that were relevant to the man on the street.
Imagine what our lives would be like without all the accusations and talk of sin and hell and punishment. Imagine if we didn’t demand that God always be talking and thinking about that. Imagine if we realised that condemnation comes from The Accuser, not The Redeemer. Imagine if we were free enough just to hear God’s voice. Free to hear his words clear and pure and untainted by Religion’s conditioning and safe-guarding and ‘covering’, the covering that so often suffocates us.
Imagine if we untied God and set him free from Religion, it would be as momentous and world-changing as if the Pharisees had done the same – untied God – just moments before the nails went in.
Imagine if we set God free from all the customs, and rules that us Charismatics, Evangelicals, Catholics, Anglicans, Presbyterians and every other denomination and sect have thrust on him. Imagine that!
Imagine if we asked him what he thought about our Christianity instead of telling him what he is supposed to think. That would be a novel approach – Christianity able to listen to God so well that we could hear him speak in full sentences and paragraphs. Impossible right?? Well maybe not, not if we begin to imagine and expect it.
Imagine if God didn’t have to obey all our rules anymore. Imagine if he didn’t have to be angry about sin, didn’t have to throw us into hell unless we grovel and say sorry. Imagine if we freed God up to be the father he wants to be, to be able to love his kids without condition like we can.
Imagine God being free to be the God we always wished he’d be. Imagine being able to talk back and forth with him like a friend. Imagine not having to worry about those mischievous, angry, sin-focused ‘prophesies’ at new year, the ones from the superstar ‘prophets’, the ones we spread around on Social Media like so much vomit after a raucous new year’s party. Imagine if we didn’t believe their message that God stops talking to us when we’re not good enough – he didn’t stop talking to Adam and Eve or Cain. Imagine if we knew God well enough to know he’s not that sort of father, that those lies come from that ‘other father’.
Imagine if we knew how to hear him clearly enough, that we could ask him with confidence whether all those big flash ‘prophets’ really were hearing him, or whether some of the stuff they say on social media and YouTube is trickery from that other father. And spare a thought for them, Religion’s superstars, imagine if the pressure was off them to pretend they hear God on behalf of everyone else.
Imagine how delighted they’d be if we left them alone long enough to earn an honest living. Maybe, just maybe, they don’t want to live up to our expectations that it is them and not God who should be leading us. Imagine being able to hear God ourselves. Imagine discovering that he just wants to be with us, just wants to talk, even if we haven’t been good, or tithed or had enough quiet times, or gone enough times to small group or church. Imagine that!
Imagine being one of those with enough courage to free God from the prison Religion has built for him. He broke our chains, imagine having the courage to break the chains we have put on him.
We can’t put chains on God? Think again, it was us believers who drove in the nails, and laughed and scoffed at his message. Not just everyday people, but believers. Can you imagine that?
Imagine if God was allowed to speak to us whenever he wanted instead of only if we obey all the rules those New Year’s Prophecy ‘prophets’ say we have to. Imagine if we didn’t believe their trickery, their lie that God isn’t going to answer us when we call because we haven’t been good enough. Imagine if we threw off those shackles and were as confident as God told Joshua to be, confident enough to hear God ourselves and were no longer subject to their manipulation and control. CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT?!?!
I can. The more I hear God speak, the more I can imagine it – me and God free to talk, and you and God, and them and God – free enough to talk and plan and laugh with Him, without all those suffocating rules and regulations.
If you can imagine it, then join me. No I don’t have a movement, or a group, or a donations or payment plan – what I mean by join me is have your own conversations back and forth with God, instead of letting others decide for you what he’s saying. Hey hey, imagine that!!
And Religion, you dark and festering sore, you murderous, manipulative majesty, be afraid. You have burnt, drowned, hung, drawn and quartered those who dared question your rules. But now it’s your turn buddy boy, so be very afraid! We’re coming for you, and there are more of us every day, your days are numbered! First we’ll expose your lies, and then we’ll crush your system forever.
“How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to earth, you who once laid low the nations.” ISAIAH 14:12
Conversations with God: Jan 2018
Mark, what sort of father do you think I am??
Why do you ask, God?
Because the things you believe and tell each other about me, anyone not familiar with your religion, would have to ask what sort of father do you really think I am? So I’m asking too, Mark, what sort of father do you think I am?
I’m not liking the sound of this, God.
Mark, remember when I compared God with human fathers?
You mean ‘If you know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more does your father in heaven know how to give good gifts to you’?
Near enough, Mark. A LOT has been lost in translation and a lot of baggage added, but yes that one. The concept is simple - if you, with all your humanness, can be good fathers, then surely I can be too?
God, us Christians are fairly familiar with that concept, we probably know a lot more about godly fatherhood than the Jews did.
Hmmm. This might come as a shock, Mark, I’d like a wee discussion about the nonsense Satan and his servant Religion have taught Christianity and the similarities between you and the Jews.
God, really? Not another of these conversations!
Bear with me, Mark, Satan and Religion have fooled you Christians, it’s nothing new, they did the same to the apostles on a number of occasions…
Aye?? Fooled the Apostles??
Absolutely. Haven’t you read where they tricked the Apostles into thinking the non Jewish Christians needed to be circumcised? First the Jews, and now Christianity, you have been vulnerable to Satan and Religion for so long you have come to believe their most mischievous lies, you think they are gospel truth.
Nice one, God, I’m wanting to tell you to shut up. People won’t like this.
Mark, stop kidding yourself. You love it when I say things that provoke annoyance and outrage. You want to destroy Religion, you want to see him bleed for the damage he’s done to Christianity. It pleases you when I say things that ruffle religious feathers. Your real problem is that the things I say challenge what you personally believe - you think you’re free from Religion’s deceptions, but you’re steeped in them.
That’s a bit tough, God??
The things he has taught you are so poisonous it will take a lifetime before you are free of them. And even then, years from now when you see me face to face, you will be shocked at how many of his lies you still believe. Decades of hunting Religion down will not free you completely from his poison and deception. He is the most powerful and respected majesty in the demonic realm.
Religion is more murderous, more suffocating to personal freedom than any other principality or power. His greatest power is that he turns your attention on lesser kingdoms so that he can sneak in unnoticed.
He points at pornography, murder, violence, racism, but poses himself as a force for righteousness, the purveyor and foundation of all that is good, yet all the while he squeals with glee because you believe his lies. He is like the many denominations, sects and cults he has co-founded with you; ‘clean and white on the outside, and full of dead men’s bones on the inside’.
He has convinced you that you are in danger of punishment from me and lucky to be considered for salvation. But Mark, it’s not about salvation, it’s about relationship with the three of us, Father, Son and Spirit, and you’re not lucky to be considered for it, you were born for it.
You are not the sorry sin-infested mess he tells you that you are, you are the pinnacle of creation, as Paul Young’s masterful book ‘Eve’ states. You are the envy of the angelic kingdom, dark and light, and as John 3:16 puts it, I ‘highly esteem’ you.
God, can we stop a minute please. You know this is going to be too hard to swallow for so many well-meaning Christians. Can’t we take it a bit slower, there has to be a more gentle doorway to all this?
Trust me, Mark, this is the best approach - Religion’s power comes from the rules, regulations and fear, that he imposes on you. And his greatest victory is that Christianity’s twisted view of me turns others away. You think you are evangelising the world with truth, but you have given them such a destructive view of me, that most of them are genuinely bewildered. The nonsense you tell them has them asking the obvious question.
What question, God?
What sort of father do you think I am?
But, God, we think you are a good father. We even sing that song; “You’re a good good father”.
Yes, I am good. But you believe the opposite.
God, that’s hardly fair!
Mark, you sing I am good and the singing is intoxicating, just like any singing can be. You think you believe the words, but the things Religion has taught you, paint a different picture of me – they describe a mean and menacing God, intent on your punishment and harm. The nice words you sing about me are no match for the lies you believe.
But, God no, I think you’re wrong, we think you are a good father!
Actually, you don’t. You are convinced that you were born inescapably sinful.
Yes, but God, that’s us, not you.
You’re missing the point, Mark. You think you’re born sinful but you also believe that each of you is created by me. You’ve never stopped to think through the lie!
What lie, God??
Mark, if I created you sinful then it is not you, but I, who is at fault. You can hardly be blamed for the way you were created.
No, God, it’s not your fault, it’s our fathers’ or something.
Really? So I mix in something your fathers did when I create you, then I hold you responsible?
Well yes, apparently?
Mark, is it any wonder that the un-Christianised think you are mad and your God a tyrant?
Well yes, no, actually I don’t know, God. Arguing with you is difficult.
Mark, the accuser blinds you to the obvious muddle that you have come to believe. He has so messed your minds with Religious filth that those who hear what you believe wonder if you have thrown away your minds.
If you really are created in sin, then how can I blame you for that? And how can any ‘good, good father’ torture you in burning liquid, unless you say sorry for things you had no control over.
But, God, it’s not our sin at birth anymore that you throw us into hell for, that’s all changed, now it’s the stuff we do once we get to the ‘age of accountability’…
What do you mean ‘that’s all changed’, Mark?
Well, Christianity used to believe you threw babies who died into hell. For thousands of years we believed that, then someone was brave enough to suggest that was total codswallop. Eventually we changed what we believed and now, apparently, you only throw us into hell for what we do after we reach the ‘age of accountability’. Babies are safe from you now.
Mark, ‘the age of accountability’ is a concept invented by Religion and you, not me. A clever way to adjust but still hold fast to your insistence that I am a God focused on sin and punishment and throwing the guilty into eternal torture.
Punishment, God, not torture!
Torture, Mark. Flames that burn but never go out, burning people who can never die, but must endure those flames forever. No human, no matter how twisted, has managed to invent a torture so heinous and yet you attribute the idea to me, your ‘good good father’. Really??
Ok, torture. We believe you torture us in burning liquid if we don’t say sorry for the things we decide to do ourselves after we reach ‘the age of accountability’.
Yes, but until recently you Christians believed that I, your ‘good, good father’, would throw dead infants into hell if you didn’t perform all sorts of rites and prayers to persuade me not to. What sort of father do you honestly think I am?? Good men would refuse to follow a God who has to be persuaded not to torture babies – is it any surprise to that the un-churched are so horrified and disgusted by your beliefs?
But God we don’t believe that any more. Now you only throw us into hell…
Torture you Mark, say it, you need to face the grim reality of your beliefs.
Ok, torture. You only torture us for the stuff we do after we reach ‘the age of accountability’.
Yes, so you said. And Mark how old does a person have to be before he reaches this ‘age of accountability’ that you and Religion have invented?
No one seems quite sure, God.
So you are constantly in danger of being thrown into a lake of fire and tortured there forever, by this ‘good, good father’ that you call me, for any action committed after a certain age, but you’re not quite sure what that age is?
Well, ok that is kind of what it’s like, God.
Dear dear dear… What has Religion persuaded you to believe, what sort of father do you honestly think I am? Has anyone ever questioned all this?
Not unless they wanted to be called a heretic God.
That’s what they called me Mark, and Paul, and Elijah, and everyone else worth their salt.
Yes, but God, if we were to believe this stuff you’re saying, it would change everything. The basic tenets of our faith are that we are born in sin, and that you by your mercy, took away our punishment on the cross.
So if you were going to be punished, who was going to be doing the punishing?
Well, you apparently, God?
Mark, honestly? What sort of father do you think I am?
I’m running out of steam here, God. Running out of argument. Not wanting to accept what you’re saying because…
Because it would mean you needed to start again, Mark. Go back to the beginning, back to the garden when Religion first entered the picture and asked ‘Did God really say’? You need to go right back there and ask me. That’s a huge problem for most of Christianity, your leaders included, because most of you don’t know how to hear me, not in full sentences and paragraphs like this.
The prospect of asking me to redefine your faith, re-explain what this whole Father, Son, Spirit and human story is about is terrifying, what if you got it wrong? You’d rather stick with what you believe.
The Pharisees found themselves in the same predicament Mark, and now here you all are at the same place they were. They had taken a relationship I started with the patriarchs and reduced it to a set of rules and regulations presided over by an angry God, and now you have done the same with the truths I taught the disciples.
The Pharisees decided it was safer to stick with Religion’s lies than listen to me, and so they murdered me. And now you are all doing the same, murdering the truth so you can keep listening to Religion’s lies about a father consumed with your behaviour and punishment. Have you ever met any other father so consumed with his children’s behaviour as you say I am?
Well no, God.
What about punishment, have you ever met a father who would punish his children in the way you say I do, torture them, burn them alive, and keep them alive in the flames so the pain never goes away?
God, of course not. But you’re supposed to be more just than we are. Christianity teaches that your ‘justice’ requires you…
To be merciful, Mark?
Mark, mercy is required in the face of guilt, but we’re not talking about guilt, this is about injustice, about people accused of breaking laws they’re not even sure about and can probably not help breaking because of the state in which they were born. Neither mercy nor justice has anything to do with that, it’s a mischievous lie.
And anyway Mark, what sort of father is constantly using words like guilt when talking about his children? Have you ever met another father who would punish his kids for any crime, no matter how minimal, by torturing them forever?
So Mark, that’s why I’m asking…
What sort of father do you think I am?
Happy new year, God, let’s talk
I need to hear your voice God.
And so let’s talk, Mark. If that’s what you want.
About what, God?
What do you want to talk about?
Not sure really, just be nice to talk. With no agenda. Just whatever you want to say. Not a public conversation. Just us God. I’ve been asking you lots of questions lately, about my new book, my business, and those gnarly subjects – what you think about Gays, the Bible and whether God actually punished you, Jesus. But now I’m feeling the need for some you and me time.
Mark, I loved all those big public conversations.
Because I love to talk.
Ok that’s good, because right now I just need to hear you talk.
Whatever you want to talk about?
What if I want to talk about you?
Well… okay, as long as it’s not too mushy God.
Mark, you know I love you right?
Yes. Everyone knows that God, but it’s a bit touchy-feely to be honest, a bit too fluffy for comfort. Love is a word that’s overdone in Christian circles. Well, that’s what I think anyway.
Maybe overstated is a better word, God? There seems to be too much talk about love without a lot of understanding. Not you, God, obviously, but our Christian culture, a bit sickly sweet sometimes.
The upshot is that if you love me, I’d like some perspective on that, like to know what it really means - what you want me to do with that, so there’s some real meaning, rather than all the Christian fluff.
Mark, for me love is not a fluffy word. Everyone needs to know I love them.
You mean like when we’re feeling down.
Not only then, other times too. At night for instance, with a full moon on the water, a gentle midnight breeze pushing you up the coast – the slow rise and fall as your yacht pushes over the swells. Remember those times? On your own, on the water? Like ‘Cool Change’; Little River Band’s song, ‘staring at the full moon like a lover’. You love that song.
I do God, but some people might think that’s a bit ungodly, should you really be mentioning it here?
Mark, I love that song too, this might be hard to squeeze into your theology, but I inspired it.
God, now I’ll definitely be ruffling feathers, like the time I was talking with you while having a beer and listening to the Stones. People said that was evidence I’m a heretic.
Mark, the Bible is full of people hearing me while they did questionable things. But beer and the Stones are far from questionable.
God!! I’m losing my audience with every word you speak.
Stop worrying. I’m ok with all of this. Not only did I inspire Little River Band’s song, I like to play it, and I love the Stones.
What?? You listen to them?
Absolutely, I’m not religious like you, so I can enjoy the things I create. I invented music and Mick Jagger. I don’t need Spotify, I can listen in when you do. And anyway, the cosmos records all sounds in perfect pitch – I can replay them whenever I want - your scientists will be able to attest to that.
God really?? Little River Band, The Stones, and now Spotify?
Mark, loosen up, you love all those things. Don’t pretend otherwise! Humans, and that includes you Christians, need diversity in music, not an ever increasing sameness. The reason so much popular Christian music sounds all the same is not because my Spirit is ‘in it’ – that’s religious thinking - it’s actually because you Christians make it sound all the same. Which is a great pity - you, and I, need diversity in the music we listen to. You Christians need to push the boundaries, stop following each other, start leading each other.
God, a lot of my audience are going to have difficulty with that, probably even think you didn’t say it.
Mark, your job, should you choose to accept it, is to smash Religion. You’re not going to do that by sticking with his tired rule-bound Christianity. Be honest about what you hear me say, doing so smashes his religious lies.
OK, God, I’m going to ignore that oblique reference to the TV series ‘Mission Impossible’ - you were talking about midnight sailing up the coast. Yes, you’re right, I loved it. What about it though?
At a time like that, when you’re bursting with the sensation, thinking you want to share it with someone…
And then under your tiller hand you feel the surge of the boat as it responds to the breeze, and you look across and at me… and I smile and wink. Those times, that’s when it’s good to know I love you.
Ok true… Yes, that is very cool, but I wouldn’t call it fluffy. I think what I mean by fluffy is false.
My love’s not false, Mark.
OK… actually hang on a minute, God, before I respond to that, you just talked about me in the boat with you and looking across and seeing you wink - people will think I can actually see you or something.
You can if you look.
You mean like actually see you?
You can see what I’m saying - see my mood, my tone. You sense that I have winked at you. Moses saw me, the back of me, with his eyes. That’s different. But anyone can see me with their spirit.
Job understood this concept, Mark, have a look at what he said – “I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you.”
Suddenly Job could ‘see’ me as a result of conversation. Until then he had known about me, he had religion and traditional prayer, but that kept me at a distance – when conversation between us started, everything changed. Look at what he says;
“I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything.
Nothing and no one can upset your plans.
You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water,
ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’
I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me,
made small talk about wonders way over my head.
You told me, ‘Listen, and let me do the talking.
Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.’
I admit I once lived by rumours of you;
now I have it all first hand—from my own eyes and ears!”
OK, well, I expect part of my problem with fluffy love is my own hang ups – the stuff that makes it uncomfortable to be told I’m loved??
Yes that’s true, but what else Mark?
Well, us Christians, we’re all so blimmen lovey dovey - we tell each other we love each other, and I guess sometimes we do, but it’s certainly not that depth of love we feel for our friends and family. They’re the people we really love, until our Christianity begins to minimise the way we love them.
Christianity does what??
God, don’t play around, you know that Christianity is highly separatist. We talk about ourselves as your family and everyone else as ‘the world’. We’re not supposed to love our real friends and family, not in the same way we used to. We’re supposed to think they’re ‘in the world’, and we’re not.
It’s taken me 44 years to figure this out, but now I realise that’s just Christian bullshit. I’m not sure how we all miss it, but one of the key accusations against you was that you hung about with all the questionable characters. The temple going crowd were constantly accusing you of that.
Mark, Religion’s biggest lie is to keep you huddled together and irrelevant to the world. While fantastic people like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Mick Jagger and so many others are all trying to change the world, you’re all busy trying to escape it.
Religion has tricked you Christians into thinking you should love the world, (your old friends and family) just a little less, because your ‘new family’ (Christians) are holier than them. Which is rubbish!! If I loved the world so much that I would give my own son, how can you Christians possibly think it ok to love the world a little less??
God, you’re being particularly unspiritual - how can we possibly love the world even more, and yet somehow stay true to whatever is that you want.
Easy. You already know the answer - listen to me. Be in conversation with me. If you rely on your interpretation of scripture, or what Bible experts say it all means you’ll most often be wrong. You can’t rely on the Bible, Mark, I am the living word, it’s not. Scripture is useless to you unless you hear me explain what it means.
Yes, it’s God breathed and good for teaching and correcting, but only if you are actually having a conversation with me, otherwise the Bible is like a loaded gun in the hands of a toddler – likely to cause death and destruction. It has done for centuries! The Pharisees used a large part of it to justify killing me, the missionaries used it to crush indigenous culture, and so on.
Well, God fine, but our ‘love’ is supposed to be stronger for Christians, God’s family, “I love you with the love of the Lord”, blah blah blah. We’re supposed to enjoy each other more than our old friends and family who are ‘in the world’.
That’s a lie, Mark. I want you in the world, I want you to season it. You can’t do that when you’re trying to escape it all the time. You Christians are like salt that’s sprinkled on a meal and then bounces off the plate and onto the table. Wasted. You need to get back on the plate.
So that’s your new year’s message to me, God? Get back on the plate? Get less religious and fluffy, get more relevant to the world?
It’s a good start, Mark. I want you to do what you came to do, use your talents, not your Christianity.
Conversations with God: Dec 2017
Christian Legends that need to be challenged:
God you keep quoting from the Bible, does that mean the Bible is crucial, that we can’t do without it? What about Christians who never have one? How do they manage to have a relationship with you??
Explain your question, Mark. People will be worried you’re asking this.
I mean habitual reading of the Bible in an attempt to hear what God is saying - putting more effort into reading scripture, than hearing you speak direct. Plenty of people think that’s safer.
What did Paul tell you?
Well, I’m thinking about where he said we should imitate him, because he imitated you?
Exactly. Did Paul and I rely most heavily on scripture, or on hearing God speak direct?
Well, could the answer be bo…
The answer is not both, Mark! History proves that each of us had an extensive knowledge of scripture, yet we could not survive without hearing God direct, Spirit to spirit.
So God, you’re saying that listening to you direct, Spirit to spirit, is more important than reading the Bible?
Much more im…
Hang on God what you’re saying poses a real problem for us Christians. Religious leaders tell us that trying to listen to you Spirit to spirit is dangerous. They’re all terrified we might hear you wrong.
Yes, you might, of course you might! It’s happened before and it will happen again. But then reading the Bible and thinking you’re listening to me is equally dangerous, Mark, that was the Pharisees’ key mistake.
John 5:39&40 “You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you’ll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me! And here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you want.”
Mark the Bible, although far from an exact in its translation is a wonderful collection of true stories about my heroes and villains – their lives and their conversations back and forward with me. Not all of the stories that could have been included, and yet I speak through it.
Ok cool. So you speak through the Bible.
Yes I do. And I speak through millions of other books too - I even speak through donkeys, road signs, and the wind in the trees.
Road signs God?
Mark I speak in any way that you allow me.
God you said the Bible includes ‘just some of the stories’ of importance. Are you saying it could have included more?
Mark the decisions on which books to include were made by men trying to hear from me but they had other concerns too – they were under pressure from each other and from a political leader who wanted more control of the church.
Some books would have been better left out, and others would have been better to left in. Doing so would have helped from an historical perspective. The scholars have long acknowledged that, but talking about it incites a rage of religious indignation from you Christians, most of whom know very little about the Bible or its origins.
Shoot God! I’m blimmen glad this is the 21st century! I’d have been hung for hearing you say all this in centuries past. What about where it warns about adding or taking away from this book?
That was John talking about the book of Revelation, not about the whole Bible. You Christians are so woefully ignorant about this. The Bible has become the fourth person in the Trinity for many of you, you have made it into something it was never intended to be - doing so has blinded you to the real truth of the book, and to me. Sound familiar?
What do you mean God?
The Pharisees Mark. They did exactly the same. They made scripture more important than me. It was easier to learn scripture than get to know me. And in doing so they became blind to the truth of it…there I was standing in front of them but they didn’t recognise me. And Mark that’s what you Christians do. You decide, without asking me, what scripture means, and then when I say something that doesn’t fit with your own ideas about the Bible, you reject it.
And if I’d said these things to you in centuries past, Mark, hanging would have been the least of your worries. Other Christians would have broken your body on the rack, gutted you, skinned you alive, burned you and drowned you. No torture was bad enough for those who disagreed with the then-fashionable interpretation of the Bible. You Christians are such a murderous self-righteous bunch when it comes to defending what you think the Bible says.
To be honest, God, I’d prefer you kept your martyr’s crown. I have no intention of Religion murdering me just because I’m hearing your voice. If I have it my way, it’ll be him who screams in pain as this battle plays out, not me.
Understood Mark. If you expect to outlive Religion’s intentions for your demise, you will. The Bible is a great book. You Christians need to understand that I am more than happy to speak through it, even though it is far from perfect.
Ok, well then, is the Bible as important as we Christians say it is?
No, it’s as important as I say it is. There’s a difference Mark. I inspired the books in it so I get to decide.
So how important is it then God?
How important is ‘very’ God? I need some perspective on this, the way some people talk, you’d think the Bible was the most important part of our belief in you.
Yes. You Christians have taken the Bible, as the Pharisees did the Old Testament, and you’ve made it more important than relationship with me. You give lip service to the idea of our relationship, but you’ve missed the point - you can’t have a relationship without conversation – back and forth like with a friend. I’m not talking about traditional prayer Mark…
What’s wrong with traditional prayer God?
It’s no longer what the word originally meant – ‘an exchange of ideas between God and man’ – it’s become you praying at me. It works because I want to do what you want, but what I’d really like is a proper conversation where I talk as much as you. Instead of conversation you are listing requests, or you have your heads in your Bibles. Can you imagine your life if your kids wanted to sit and read your txts instead of having an actual conversation?
Not really God.
It’s boring Mark. For me particularly, but for you too. You’re like guests at a wedding so focused on reading the invitation that you’re blinded to what’s really happening.
Ok but God how much importance should we actually put on the Bible, how often should we read it? I need to know.
Yes you surely do Mark, all you Christians do. But first, let me ask you a question. How important is listening to me?
Well God I’d have said it’s the most important thing in the world to listen to you, and yet that makes it sound like if we don’t do it we’ll be in trouble. Religion has completely corrupted our Christian world view and made it all about right and wrong, reward and punishment, when actually you said the two most important ‘rules’ were the love ones. And love is impossible without freedom.
Quite. Mark although the Bible itself makes it clear that a spirit of fear doesn’t come from me, Religion and his friends have used the Bible as a tool of terror for centuries.
Religious leaders, murderous zealots, kings, queens and you Mark.
Aye?? Me God?
You and so many like you.
That’s a bit harsh God?
Harsh is an excellent word for what I’m talking about Mark. Generations of Christians like you have been duped into harsh interpretation of Bible passages by the pretender. Admit it, you hate it when the religious accuse you of heresy, but you were no better. The Gay issue is just one such example of your own condemning attitude.
You are happy now to hear me say I do not see Gay men as any different than Christian men. But for 40 plus years you were convinced the Bible condemned them and that I would torch them in hell – all because of what others told you the Bible said.
You did no real study yourself, and never asked me my thoughts, which is absolutely typical for you Christians. The problem Mark is very few of you know how to hear me. Your leaders warn you against trying in case you get it wrong, so you make the Bible into something I never intended it to be, you pretend to yourselves that it is the key conduit for my voice. But Mark it is not.
Eep God? You sound a bit cross?
Not cross Mark. Frustrated. You have put together a book of stories about my heroes and villains, a book full, no matter which translation you read, of power inspiration but you’ve made it a rule book, a book more important than you, you’ve made it into an idol.
An idol! Here’s my question Mark. You tell me. In most Christian circles what are you more likely to hear – quotes and lessons from the Bible, or discussion about what I have said direct to a person?
You’re cornering me God. If I tell the truth it’ll sound like I’m anti Bible.
Mark forget about the consequences, just call it how you see it.
Well God too much talk about what you’ve said to a person is not a comfortable subject in most Christian circles, typically we’re scared of the idea and prefer the ‘safety’ of reading the Bible. And God David meditated on your law.
Yes Mark, David considered the Torah, but there’s a lot more to what he did than what’s in the Bible. Have a look at the full meaning of ‘Torah’, review what the scholars say. ‘Torah’ means much more than the written scripture. It refers to instruction, teaching, direct from me. Discussion.
The idea that David sat there meditating on scripture all day and night is a lie. The man was a passionate friend of mine, able for the most part to hear me speak direct. When someone you love says something to you Mark, happy or sad, do you think about it, over and over?
Of course yes Mark. That’s meditation. David loved me. Heard me. Went over and over in his mind what I said. Some of it frustrated him, made him angry, day and night “All night long I flood my bed with weeping”. And some of it thrilled him and gave him courage and he concentrated on it when he faced danger.
Here’s another question for you Mark. If David could have carried the old testament in his pocket, do you think he’d be more likely to thumb its pages in the heat of battle, or to scream out to me for answers?
Scream out to you?
Of course scream out to me. What about when he was caught with his pants down regarding Bathsheba, did he nip outside and have a quick read through the scripture? Of course not Mark, talking with me was far more important to him than scripture – he called out to me in panicked desperation – “ummm, God, don’t take your Holy Spirit from me, you won’t will you??”
You Christians have made the Bible into an idol. You call it ‘The Word of God’. It’s not! I am the Word of God. You have used your written idol to control and murder, you have made it a more murderous god than Molech. Not only have you murdered children, but whole families in its name, and then justified every fresh kill with verses you quote piously from the Bible. You have used the Bible to justify your hates and passions, beliefs and whims – you far prefer to read it than hear me direct, Spirit to spirit.
You think I’m talking history Mark, but you Christians are still like this today. Thankfully for your victim’s sake you can’t do them physical harm anymore, your ‘worldly’ governments, have taken away your power to kill, but you destroy your victims all the same with criticism founded on what you think the Bible says.
You put the book ahead of talking with me and you are blind to the fact that Satan has duped you into doing so. Satan’s favourite playground is Christians who have fooled themselves that reading the Bible is more important than listening to me.
You have even convinced yourselves that reading the Bible is how you listen to me. But Mark that’s not what I want. I want to speak to you direct. That’s all. I just want conversation. I do NOT want slaves. I do NOT want your religion. You do, you want it badly. But as for us, we hate it! It separates us.
Christian Legends that need to be challenged:
That’s how the story gets told, Mark.
Yes, but God forget about the story - I want to know the real truth! I always thought you were a loving Father, and yet we get taught that you punished your one true Son in our place.
Yes you do.
I mean, one part of that story sounds good God, sounds like love…
What do you mean one part?
Well, the part where your Son was prepared to take our punishment, that part sounds like love, but the other part of the story doesn’t sound quite right, God. I think the problem is we’re too scared to think it through, scared it might mean we don’t have enough faith…
You’d better explain, Mark.
Ok, well, this idea that a loving God needed to punish someone so badly he was even prepared to punish his Son who hadn’t committed any crime? Really God?? Did you honestly need a victim that badly? It doesn’t make you sound like a father I’d want to be left alone with. What if Jesus was busy one day and you got mad at me – if you’re prepared to crucify your perfect Son, what might you do to me??
Why must you turn over every sacred stone, Mark?
Because Satan is hiding under a lot of them God, and I want to get him, knock him back on his haunches, cause him pain. But would you rather I didn’t?
Carry on, Mark.
Well God, this thing about you punishing Jesus is supposed to be a cornerstone of what we believe, something we’re not meant to question, but let’s be honest, it doesn’t really stack up does it?
Mark, you’d better lay out exactly what you’re thinking.
Well God, let’s say one of our kids, when they were young, had done something wrong and I was planning to punish them, and Miriam, wanting to spare them the pain, offered that I punish her instead.
That’s pretty much the story, Mark.
So it’s the true story, God?
I didn’t say that. Let’s take this slowly. It’s the way you Christians have come to understand the story.
Ok, well, if Miriam offered to take the punishment in our child’s place that would show that she loved them so much she was prepared to face my anger and brave the pain of my punishment.
But what, Mark?
But if I agreed to Miriam’s offer and punished her in my child’s place, it would show that I was so intent on punishment, that I needed a victim so badly, someone to vent my anger on, that I was even prepared to punish my wife for something she hadn’t done. That’s not love at all! A court of law would call me a tyrant for that sort of behaviour and they’d be right! I don’t think you’re a tyrant, God, so there must be something wrong with the way we understand the story.
And yet God, so many scriptures make it sound like you really did punish Jesus. It makes you look like you love us Jesus, but Father, it doesn’t put you in a very good light at all. So I’m asking you, have we misunderstood what the scriptures mean?
Mark, there are people who can no longer read this, they are incensed that you would question what they believe. They believe that the cross is the truth, and that’s that!
But God, I think the cross is the truth too. It’s clearly central to everything. The cross is incredible! I think it’s even more powerful than we realise. I suspect Satan has twisted the story over the years, so when we read the Bible accounts, we miss key things the writers wanted us to see.
Well, what are you saying then, Mark?
I’m saying that the common every day, never questioned understanding of the cross doesn’t really stack up, and someone needs to brave up, risk annoying the big guns, and ask you some questions about it.
And what, Mark?
And if no one else has the courage to do so, then I’m going to. Strike me dead if you like God, but someone has to ask you these questions. We need to stop asking everyone else, and start asking you. That’s what David did. About everything.
I’ve been waiting for you all to do it for eons, Mark. Waiting for you to question what you get taught - to ask me questions and expect answers.
Well, God, there’s no way that what we get taught can be true, can it? If you’re loving, then the idea that you are intent on punishing someone, anyone, for my sin, and that you’ll even punish your own Son if he’s the only one you can get your hands on. Really? That idea makes your love a joke.
But the argument is that the punishment I bore was so great because I was carrying all the sin of the world, Mark.
But Jesus, that argument doesn’t hold either, I’m really sorry to be saying this, but the same people also say that you would still have died, just for me, had I been the only sinner. So God, that means you would have crucified Jesus, needed to crucify him, needed to punish someone that horrifically, just for my sins and no one else’s. God, it wouldn’t enter my mind to nail my sons to a cross, no matter how bad their crime.
As I say, the story makes you seem unbelievably loving, Jesus, which we all know that you are, but it makes you look like a menacing tyrant, Father.
But Mark, it says that I laid on him the sins of them all.
Yes. I know. And what I’m saying is that it doesn’t sound like a loving father, so does it mean something different than what we think it means? Has something been lost in translation?
Something is always lost in translation, Mark.
Well, I need you to guide me through this, God, because I’m not sure, but I’m wondering, I mean seriously wondering if it could mean… Oh I don’t know. This is too complex God.
Carry on, Mark.
Ok, I’m wondering if it means that in response to God turning up on earth as a man, first the Jews, and then the unchurched masses they stirred up, decided to murder you. Actually murder, God. That was their response to God reducing himself to become human so he could prove he wanted friendship.
Murdering you was the culmination, the outworking, the demonstration of what us humans are really like. Our real sin, as you described it in John 16, is that we don’t actually believe you. Given that you are love that means that not believing your love is our real problem. Killing you is the ultimate expression of a son who does not believe that his father loves him, who rages against a father reaching out to him.
You’re surprisingly close to the truth, Mark, although many will consider you miles from it.
So God, if a son condemns his father to death, and then executes him; the father, if he loves his son, somehow takes on himself, accepts responsibility for the monster his son has become. All his son’s mess, his actions and his confused thinking, everything, he takes it all on himself. So I’m wondering if that’s what it means when it says, ‘Surely our griefs he himself bore, and our sorrows he carried’?
Do you think it could mean that, Mark?
I’m sorry but I do. And God, the verse that follows that one says, ‘Yet we thought he was punished by God’. The sentence structure suggests we were mistaken, that you weren’t being punished by God at all.
Yes, it does.
Alright, but there are still a couple of places in that passage in Isaiah that really do suggest you were punishing Jesus. It seems so unlikely, that the Father who runs to the prodigal son would do that, yet the verses clearly suggest it.
Popular teaching certainly suggests that, Mark.
So are you saying the scriptures themselves don’t suggest that?
No, I haven’t said that yet. Not so fast. I’m saying the reason you believe I punished Jesus in your place has more to do with popular teaching. Mark, let’s work through those ‘sticky passages’.
Alright, God, then it goes on to say, ‘the punishment that brought us peace was on him’.
Mark, I’m not a harsh God, not looking to throw you all into hell, and yet any human can see that if a mob gets together and executes God, punishes him for supposed crimes, that if anyone needed to be punished it was that mob and not God. And yet I was the one punished. By them. That verse does not say the punishment heaped on me came from God, it says the punishment brought you peace.
Ok true, but that means that we got peace because you were punished?
Yes, it does mean that.
Ok well, how God??
Mark, here’s a question for you: What if me hanging on the cross was not a story of the Father finally getting his victim? What if God wasn’t looking to punish anyone? What if the cross was actually mankind’s response to ‘peace and goodwill to all men’?
Well, that would be huge, God, but there are a couple of big questions around that idea. First is how did you dying on the cross bring us peace? It sure makes it sound like by punishing you, God was able to let us off the hook.
As you said yourself, Mark, that would be like you punishing Miriam so your kids could go unpunished. It would mean you were a tyrant, looking for a victim. If you’re not that bad, then certainly my Father isn’t.
Well what IS the story then, God??
Mark, I offered myself to humanity – my message was ‘here I am, I’m God, but I’ve made myself a man so we can talk’ - but you murdered me. The mystery, the power that wins men’s hearts is this; I didn’t retaliate like the stern God you humans think I am. Instead, I submitted like a servant, a heart broken dad. I offered my life as a sacrifice, allowed you to sacrifice me. And the result is that people everywhere, when they hear the story think ‘hang on, what have we done? We murdered God, and he let us??’ The story opens men’s hearts, Mark.
Ok, so God, later in that passage it says ‘The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all’. What’s your answer to that? It seems pretty clear. It certainly seems to back up the story of an angry God punishing his son in our place.
It might seem that way, Mark, but actually, on closer reading, if you’re prepared to throw out your presuppositions and risk letting me speak, it doesn’t mean that at all.
What else could it mean, God? I don’t want you to be a tyrant who needs a victim for the crimes of the world, but that’s what the scripture sounds like, and if it’s true then I guess I just have to live with it.
Yes. If it’s true you do. But is it true, Mark?
Well, it doesn’t sound like you, God, is all I’m saying.
Mark, let me explain how the punishment - men punishing me, not God punishing me – brought you peace. When you hear the story of the cross and you realise that God lowered himself, made himself a man to prove that he wants equal relationship, is prepared to make himself like you…
When you hear that, it moves you, it’s the core of the story. Mary Magdalene didn’t need the cross to understand my love, neither did David, but the cross filled the gaps even for them. Suddenly, so much they hadn’t understood about my love was made obvious.
The Cross does that. It demonstrates my love. The cross wasn’t our intention, but we knew from before creation that it would be your response, and decided to allow it. We could see that it would melt your hearts. It wasn’t the way we wanted to begin a relationship, but we could see that it would work for you, so we went with it. “The Lamb slain before the foundation of the world.” We saw that allowing you to nail me to the cross would allow us to demonstrate how we feel about you humans.
Mark, we don’t want to judge and punish, we want friendship. When you realise it wasn’t just enough to be made small like you; I was also prepared to submit to your will, even let you murder me – something about that story melts your heart, brings you into relationship with us, heals your hearts. 1 PETER 2:24 “By his wounds you have been healed.”
And it’s no story, Mark, it’s truth. When you hear those words you’re touching the very meaning of the universe – God wants a back and forth relationship. He wants it so badly he makes himself small, equal to you, vulnerable to the decisions you make about him, no matter how murderous.
And that knowledge, Mark, that my love is so strong that I will never retaliate, never hurt you, no matter how angry you are, no matter how deep your mess, that knowledge wins your heart. “Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.” The cross proves I’m not a harsh God, wanting to punish sinful humans, I’m a servant God allowing you to punish me, if that’s what it takes to reach you.
But Religion, that enemy of the Cross, has made the story about right and wrong and punishment and repentance. That’s the opposite of what the story means.
That won’t win you many friends in religious circles, God.
Mark, I’ve never had many friends in those circles. The cross is the ultimate demonstration that whatever you do, even right down to killing me, I’m still going to overlook it – “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” I just want connection.
Ok, God, but what about where it says, ‘the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all’?
Can’t you see, Mark? Everything we’ve just talked about makes it obvious. We saw from before the beginning what your response would be when God was revealed as a man, and we decided we’d still do it. All three of us agreed to it. We are one. I, the Son, took your grief and mess and the punishment you meted out that day, the punishment that really you deserved yourself, I took it all on myself.
The three of us, as one, took the punishment you dished out on ourselves. We accepted it, allowed it, and Jesus the representative of the three of us that day, bore the excruciating pain.
I, the Father, allowed him to take it on himself, laid it, gently, lovingly on him. Because we are one, it meant I was also putting it on myself. And, I the Spirit, held his hand while the Father mopped his brow. We took your ‘sin’ upon us, Mark, your real sin, which is that you don’t believe our love. John 16:9
In Revelation it says about me ‘with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation’. Mark, I purchased them for God, not from him. I didn’t need to pay God for you. That would make me a hero and my father a villain. That’s a lie. The act of submitting to mob murder has melted the hearts of people, from every tribe and nation ever since. Don’t you get that?
Mark, that rubbish about ‘Sinners in the hands of an angry God’, is a lie, carefully concocted by the prince of lies. The real truth is ‘God in the hands of angry sinners’. A truth that breaks down the barriers between us. I submitted myself into the hands of an angry mob, an act so shocking, so humbling, an act that only a servant God, a loving and not angry Father could be capable of. And as a result, millions of hearts have turned to me.
The cross wasn’t so you could get into heaven. The cross was to demonstrate that the door to heaven is open, has always been and will always be. I endured the cross to demonstrate that whatever you do, I’m going to stand and wait ‘til you’re ready to respond. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.”
Ok God, so you keep quoting from the Bible, does that mean having the Bible is crucial? If so, what about the people who don’t? What about Christians who never have one? How do they manage to have a relationship with you God??
Explain your question, Mark. Break it down. Plenty of people will be deeply concerned that you would even ask.
I mean like continual, habitual reading of the Bible in order to hear what you are saying. I mean putting more effort into hearing you by reading scripture, than hearing you speak direct.
What did Paul tell you?
Well, I’m thinking about where he said we should imitate him, because he imitated you?
Exactly. Did Paul and I rely most heavily on scripture, or on hearing God speak direct?
Well, could the answer be bo…
The answer is not both, Mark! History proves that each of us had an extensive knowledge of scripture, but we could not survive without hearing from God direct, Spirit to spirit. Paul told you that he imitated me, and that you should imitate him.
So God, you’re saying that listening to you direct, Spirit to spirit, is more important than reading the Bible?
Much more im…
Hang on God this is a problem for people, Religious leaders have told them that listening to you direct is dangerous, we might hear wrong.
Yes, you might. It’s happened before and it will happen again. But then listening to me through the Bible is equally dangerous, Mark, that was the Pharisees’ key mistake.
John 5:39&40 “You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you’ll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me! And here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you want.”
Conversations with God: Nov 2017
Conversations with God about Christianity's toughest questions
Slow down, Mark. With a headline like that, you’re threatening a whole bunch of sacred cows. Do you really want to do this?
I do. Us Christians think we know the answers to those questions without ever asking you personally.
But what, Mark?
But, God, I don’t like that idea! Surely we can’t just take what we think the Bible says, and not ask you personally?? So I’m asking you! What do you really think about Gays, God? And what about the Bible, how important is it – the early church didn’t have it and they got on fine. And one more question – were you honestly so intent on torturing me in hell for my sins, that Jesus had to be crucified in my place?
God, I used to think I knew the answers to all these questions, but I’m starting to wonder. You don’t seem as harsh as you used to, maybe I had the wrong idea about you? Lots of us are starting to wonder. But it’s stuff we daren’t ask about – stuff like the Gay question, the importance of the Bible and what the cross was about etc.
More than lots, Mark.
Ok, more than lots of us Christians are not so sure any more about some of that stuff, but don’t want to admit it in case we get shot down. The Religious will quote verses like ‘the love of many will grow cold’, but right now I’m not that interested in what they think – I want to know what you think, God! Lots of us do.
So why are you asking, Mark?
Because I’m past caring. I’m like bring it on, try and shoot me down if you want. I didn’t start these conversations with you to cause any trouble, but now that I’ve stirred up Religion and he’s screaming at me, I’ll admit I’m enjoying his pain. And anything that forces Satan to show his hand is good in my books, because God I’m going to get that Son of a #*@!! if it’s the last thing I do!
Because his servant Religion has stolen your people’s freedom, their families, their wealth and their health and all the while, pretended your voice. He’s twisted scripture, and confused your message. I want my foot on his neck, God, and that’s just the start of it.
He’s my son remember, Mark. I created him.
Ok well, sorry (confused). Do you want me to stop?
Do you want to?
No! Of course not, I want to do him serious harm, but…
It’s unfortunate, but necessary, Mark – this will make a lot of people unhappy. But it will also set a lot of people free. The two always go hand in hand. Saying the same old accepted things gives people comfort, but if you want to set people free, you need to break down walls. People go on and on about revival, but they’ll never see it if they keep doing and thinking the same things. Long before revival, there’s going to be a reformation. Just saying.
Alright, well God, lots of popular Bible interpretation doesn’t make sense to lots of us.
More than lots, Mark.
Ok fine, and God, I don’t think many Christians realise that for 2000 years the Church fathers have changed their minds back and forth about what key scriptures actually mean. What mainstream Christianity thinks about them now, wasn’t always what mainstream Christianity thought.
No. So which generation has been right, Mark?
I don’t know, God. That’s why I’m asking.
Mark, each new generation believes it has the truth. Christian missionaries once fervently believed that European culture was inherently Godly and that the ‘savages’ they were ‘called to’ needed to give up their culture, and their land, to make way for European ‘progress’.
Ok that’s fine, God, they were wrong, but today I want to ask you about other stuff like Gays and Lesbians, the Bible and whether you really did punish your son. Like, you know, let’s live dangerously and find out what you actually think.
Why have you left it till now to ask?
I discovered by accident how to have these conversations with you, that you will actually answer my questions instantly and in a way I can understand. The Bible says your thoughts are not our thoughts which is why I want to ask you these tough questions. I’m sick of hearing our thoughts on these matters, God, I want to know yours.
And God, the Bible also says ‘come let us reason together’. So I’m here to do that. I want to know the real truth about the Gay question, about where the Bible fits in your plan, and whether you really punished your son.
Heaps God, but that can all wait till another conversation. Stuff like tithing, our whole focus on heaven and getting saved to avoid hell.
You’ll make yourself very unpopular, Mark.
And God, that’s a pity because I’d love to be popular.
Well, you’re not going to be. Those in power and those who think it’s wrong to question this, will be on your case.
Ok, but what about you, will I be unpopular with you, God? Plenty of people already say that I am.
Mark, I love it when people believe I exist enough to actually ask questions, reason with me. That’s the whole foundation of Hebrews 11.
Alright cool. Because God, one day soon I’m going to ask you about spiritual warfare and whether we can swear at the devil, or whether that means we’re naughty and he doesn’t have to obey us. But not today. Right now it’s the Gay thing, the Bible and the idea that you punished Jesus in my place. A more careful read of the Bible and the Greek suggests that the common understandings aren’t necessarily true.
Mark, some men spend their lives searching the answers to those questions.
Ok fine, but I’m not them God, I’m not that patient, religious or nice. I want answers today if that’s alright.
Of course it is, Mark. I love it when people come expecting answers. If people reading this have trouble with your approach, they will find some comfort in these three passages of scripture. They’ll need to read them carefully, then look at the Greek, and hunt for the hidden but obvious correlations between all three passages. John 16:7-13, Hebrews 11:6 and Matthew 7:7. But Mark, before I answer your questions tell me where have you been?
You know exactly where I’ve been, God!
Yes. I’m making conversation Mark.
Ok God, I’ve been doing some research on the whole God/Gay question.
And which side are you on?
Well, God, I used to be fiercely anti-Gay and homophobic and always condemned them as wrong, but I’m starting to wonder…
That’s a dangerous position to take, Mark.
Well yes, around Christians it certainly is.
Mark, you’ll be accused of deception and leading people astray if you don’t condemn Gays and Lesbians. You know what it says in the Bible and what all the popular preachers and authors say.
Well, actually I don’t know so much about what the Bible says anymore God.
Mark, that’s even more dangerous.
Yes I know, and God, I suspect that those Christian leaders who trumpet loudest against Gays, don’t actually know what the Bible says either.
Now you’re really getting yourself in trouble Mark, putting your finger on the ‘holy ones’.
Actually God, I’m past caring.
So are you on the Gay side, Mark?
I don’t know any more to tell you the truth. The way we Christians have condemned Gays and Lesbians, we’re bordering on hypocrisy, and it’s because we have overlooked what the scriptures are really saying. The Bible says homosexuality is an abomination but it also says a huge list of other stuff is an abomination too – stuff that most Christians do all the time.
For instance, stirring up strife between brothers is also called an abomination – that’s pretty much an official past time in a lot of Churches, let’s be honest. But the final straw God, was when I got told of a very unkind comment from a Christian uncle to his Gay nephew and I was like what the heck?!?!
I realised that although the uncle was convinced he knew what the Bible says, he actually doesn’t. He was just parroting popular Christian thinking, and doing a lot of harm to his family. Stirring up strife among brothers. And God, I’ve been wondering if most of the Christian bigwigs, the ones who love the lime light…
Ease up, Mark, you love the lime light too.
Ok true, God. Sorry. (Feeling embarrassed).
Not an issue, Mark, it’s the way I made you and them, carry on with your story.
Ok, those Christian bigwigs get a lot of stage time attacking Gays, but I’m wondering if they’ve done their homework. Their comments make it pretty obvious they haven’t really spent any time studying what Paul wrote to the Romans, Corinthians and Timothy, or what Jude and the old testament say about all this. They sound wise, but they’re just trotting out the standard interpretation which has some gaping holes.
Hang on, God, I’m on a roll here. I know it’s dangerous, but I want some straight up answers from you on all this.
That’s great, Mark. But it is dangerous.
Ok, well God, I wonder if they even know what the Greek says about Paul’s comments about homosexuality, or why the early church fathers were not in agreement with each other about what Paul meant. It’s not just the present day radicals as they call them, the early church fathers were questioning some of this.
Well God, I’d put money on it, I bet they’ve never studied it carefully enough, never asked you personally if the popular interpretation is really true before they get on their platforms and start condemning people.
Because if you poke and prod them they’ll poke and prod you.
I’m looking forward to it, God. Bring it on! I reckon a good scrap would do us all good. We’re so blimmen sanctimonious, us Christians. No wonder the rest of the world finds us so painful. We think our… well we think it doesn’t stink is all I’m saying.
A bit of public disagreement might bring us all, me included, down a notch. Do us good. There were important arguments in the early church, that suggest that modern Christianity might have it wrong about homosexuality.
What does the Bible say?
Well, it uses the word abomination, but there are big questions around what Paul was actually talking about. And I’m not sure that Christians realise that, or even want to know.
Mark, it’s not a problem unique to you Christians, it’s part of being human. Fear of being wrong drives all humans to block out arguments to the beliefs they hold dear. Some call it the ‘Ostrich Syndrome’.
Well God, right from the early church writers, there’s been disagreement about what Paul was talking about – did he mean homosexuality or did he mean the practise of temple prostitution, guys having sex with castrated priests. And that’s not the only question. In fact, almost none of the modern Bible scholars believe that Paul, even though he mentions women, was talking about Lesbians. It was definitely a male thing. So how does that fit??
There’s a lot of disagreement, God, a lot of wrestling over what it means, even among the real Bible scholars - but the rest of us never bother to question it. In truth, we have very little knowledge about what the Bible is really saying, and everyone knows a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
Alright, but slow down, Mark. If you put aside all those disagreements and differences in translation, - even if you ignore that a significant number of the true scholars agree that what Paul wrote to Timothy about homosexuality, was some other writer, and not Paul at all…
See what I mean God! If we’re wrong about who wrote it, what else have we got wrong?? I mean we all think we know exactly what the bible says, but actually we don’t. Far from it.
But what about Sodom and Gomorrah Mark?
God that’s not even an argument. You said in Ezekiel that the real sin of Sodom was that she was ‘arrogant, overfed and unconcerned and did not help the poor and needy’ – sounds a lot like us selfish western Christians, me included to be honest.
Mark, slow down, all of that aside, what’s the other significant problem with what mainstream Christianity thinks I say about Gays?
Well, there are at least two gaping holes that anyone who knows even a wee bit of Bible can see… First up there’s the small matter…
Big matter, Mark.
Ok, big matter - when Paul talked about homosexuality, he also talked about adulterers and fornicators and liars in the very same verses. He doesn’t single homosexuals out as any different, he just lumps everyone in to the same boat.
Mark Gays and Lesbians would be understandably offended if you compared them with liars.
Well yes, but God, we all lie. Gay or straight, it doesn’t seem to matter. The Christian uncle who condemned his Gay nephew, I bet you he’s had problems with being truthful, we all have – well I have that’s for sure. But let’s put the liars like me aside, let’s just stick with us fornicators and adulterers - I think it’s time us Christians got real.
Research shows that between 70% and 80% of us Christian men look at pornography. You said if we lust in our hearts, we’ve committed adultery. When Paul talks about homosexuality being an abomination, he also says adultery is too.
What are you saying, Mark?
That 80% of us Christian men better think twice, look at the log in our own eye before we condemn someone who is Gay, because actually, as far as the Bible is concerned, we’re exactly the same in your eyes. We’re hypocrites if we condemn Gays. We need to condemn ourselves too.
We publically state that Gays and Lesbians are bad, going to hell, causing earthquakes and a whole bunch of other bull##&! We think we have scripture on our side, but the fact is, we’re so dumb we never bother to study it and find out what it all means.
And because the vast majority of Christians seldom hear you speak in full sentences or paragraphs, we only have a little bit of knowledge, which makes us dangerous, like a lynch mob. Us Christians aren’t allowed to burn or skin alive those we disagree with anymore, but we’re still very dangerous and damaging.
You can be fairly hypocritical yourself, Mark.
I know. I hate that! Us blimmen Christians have so buggered up the world with our hypocrisy and ‘Angry-God’ nonsense that no one knows what to think about you anymore.
No one, Mark?
Well, no one except kids, God. The younger the better. They seem to see past all the religious garbage and somehow know intuitively that you’re on their side and not cross at all. But us Christians portray you as a harsh judge. If we’re going to condemn Gays, I think we’d better first condemn ourselves.
No what, God??
No, I don’t want you condemning yourselves, or Gays and Lesbians, or anyone else. Why must you Christians always focus our relationship on right and wrong, salvation and condemnation? Is your relationship with your own children about those things? Can you just relate to them, or is it all about rules?
Don’t start me, God. I always thought you were a loving Father, that’s how I described you anyway, but I also thought you punished your one true Son in my place. It sounded good, sounded like love, but I never really properly thought it through. But God, it doesn’t really add up does it? Let’s be honest.
Explain what you mean, Mark.
Well God, let’s say one of our kids, when they were young, had done something wrong and I was planning to punish them, and Miriam, wanting to spare them the pain, offered that I punish her instead.
That’s pretty much the story, Mark.
So it’s the truth, God?
I didn’t say that. Let’s take this slowly. It’s the way you Christians have come to understand the story.
Ok well, if Miriam offered to take the punishment in our child’s place, that would show that the child was loved, definitely by Miriam, but…
But what, Mark.
But if I agreed to Miriam’s offer and punished her in my child’s place, it would show that I was so intent on punishment, that I needed a victim, someone to vent my anger on. A court of law would call me a tyrant for that sort of behaviour and they’d be right! I don’t think you’re a tyrant, God, so there must be something wrong with the way we understand the story. It makes you look amazingly loving Jesus, but Father, it doesn’t put you in a very good light at all.
Mark, there are people who can no longer read this, they are incensed that you would question what they believe. They believe that the cross is the truth, and that’s that!
But God, I think the cross is the truth too. It’s clearly central to everything…
Well what are you saying then, Mark?
God why does your voice sound like our own thoughts when we have a conversation with you?
God it makes it hard for people to have a conversation with you when your voice sounds a lot like their own thoughts. Why do you do that??
You already know the answers Mark.
You do. You’ve struggled with the same problem and demanded I explain it to you. Often. It’s a regular issue for you, just as it is for everyone else, so we’ve spoken of it often.
Ok true. But I thought you wanted to have a conversation about this, in writing, so others could read it and be helped by it.
Many will what?
Be helped by it. It’s conversation-with-God 101. Everyone needs to know it. My voice sounds like your own thoughts at first because it’s meant to. Like a car is meant to start when you turn the key.
Really God? It’s very satisfying when a car starts at the first turn of the key, but very frustrating when having a conversation with you and realising that your answers might not be your answers after all because they sound like my own thoughts.
Yes. But there’s a reason for that, an important God-designed reason that is even more satisfying once you understand it. It’s like solving a mystery Mark, because it is a mystery this talking back and forth with me. A mystery that was designed to intrigue you in a way that compels you to solve it. It’s not hard but it is.
Yes well let’s not get into that God. You say stuff like that with so much meaning…
Intrigue Mark. So much intrigue.
Ok you say stuff like that, “It’s hard, but it’s not”, with so much ‘intrigue’ behind it…
And meaning too Mark. I just wanted you to realise that I make statements like that, “It’s hard but it’s not”, because yes they contain deep meaning, but I also wanted you to see they are laced with intrigue to entice you to solve and understand them. I gave you a brain and I love it when you use it, in conversation with me, to solve life’s eternal, yet right-now mysteries.
Man God! I hope people can understand this. I can because I’m the one interpreting what you’re saying, but I’m not so sure anyone else will know what on earth you’re talking about.
Why are you able to understand it?
Because as I type the words I hear you speak, I’m also reading them as they hit the screen. And I recognise them, they’re my own words for what you’ve said. I’m the interpreter in this conversation, so I’m using my own way of speaking to interpret your voice.
Why do you use your own way of speaking when interpreting my voice?
Two reasons God. The first it’s the one I’m familiar with, every interpreter does that, if someone is interpreting a foreign speaker, no matter how much they try to interpret in a more universal language, their own ways of speaking come through.
Yes, what’s the other reason?
Well because I hate the silly ‘Christianese’ language that us Christians seem to have developed, it makes you sound distant and imperious and us pompous and just plain weird. And because I hate it I’m determined to interpret your voice in everyday language, the way I speak to anyone else. I can’t stand the horrible “Thus sayeth the Lords” and “The Lord would say unto this people”…
Why horrible Mark?
I don’t know God, it just makes my skin crawl. I suppose that’s not very spiritual of me to think like that, but it makes us Christians sound like a bunch of blimmen loonies – I mean what’s wrong with us, are we so removed from the real world that we have to speak this special language?? And frankly it makes you sound so distant too God.
Mark here’s the thing. Two things. I have made myself servant to you humans, it’s not a chore, I love it, I make myself a servant so that you can decide if you hear my voice and if you want to hear it; a servant so that you can dig up my voice and interpret it, or leave it sitting on the table.
Part of that dynamic, of allowing you to decide whether you’ll listen to my voice or not, of allowing you the right to interpret it rather than forcing you to listen to it; part of that is you get to interpret my voice in any language you want. So when you Christians decide to use your imperious prophetic sounding language – “The Lord would say unto you this day…” I allow that. I’m your servant. I submit my voice to your interpretation and if you want to speak it in your special Christian language then you can. It’s not my first choice, but I fit with it because it’s your choice.
That’s two things God, it sounded like about fifteen?!?
Actually it was just one. Here’s the second, I’ll fit with whatever language you want to interpret my voice in. I’m your servant remember. That’s a hard concept for you Christians to get your head around. But if you ask me what sort of language to interpret my voice in, then I’ll tell you to do it in the language of the people.
If you’re not sure about that then look at my life. My whole life from birth to death was lived in the language of the people. I was born, like so many, an illegitimate child. Actually in worse conditions than most. I died a death no more glamorous than anyone else’s, in fact worst that most. My very life was lived in ‘your language’. I got down to your level. And when I spoke to humans I spoke the way they spoke, not imperious, just the way they spoke.
If you speak in imperious Christianese you can still speak my words. That’s your choice, but you create distance between me and the people I am speaking to. You make me sound high and away and not like them – hard to fathom, impossible to get to know on a true friendship basis. But I am exactly like them. I’m a man. I made myself a man in order to prove my love for you.
And Mark before you point it out, this conversation hasn’t been about your original question – ‘why does my voice sound like your thoughts when we have a conversation?’
Well God in a funny sort of way I’m thinking it has.
Aaah, now you’re beginning to get good at this. Tell me why you think it has.
Well because you’re talking all about how in a conversation with you it’s us interpreting your voice.
And when we interpret your voice we do it in our own words.
And that means your words, as they arrive in our minds, because you speak to our thoughts, your words sound… well they sound like our thoughts?
When a man interprets a foreign speaker, he is familiar with that foreign language, but doesn’t speak it every day.
And so Mark?
Well it means his own words spoken in interpretation are clearer to him than the words the foreigner spoke. His own words are clearer because they are not only the interpretation, but they are his own words.
Hah! That’s what you’re saying isn’t it!! When I interpret your voice, your words sound like mine because having heard your words in my mind I’m articulating them into my own written words, or speaking them out loud in my own spoken words?!?
Yes. And there’s another important reason I speak in a way that sounds like your own voice.
So that you can become used to it, familiar with it, and not have to take any notice of it if you don’t want.
Don’t sound so surprised Mark, we’ve gone over this principle together many times.
Ok true, but it does still sound very unlike the God that Religion has taught us about.
Yes that god is not me Mark. That god is the one the bible calls “The accuser”. That god demands all kinds of obedience and servitude, in the name of love. That god punished his son in your place because he needed a victim for his anger at sin. That’s not love, that’s menace and domination Mark. It’s time you all saw through it. You want revival? Forget about it while you’re trying to foist an angry vindictive behaviour-focused God on the world. It won’t work with this generation, they know more about me than you do quite often. And they know that I’m not that angry grumpy god that Religion teaches you about.
Alright, so why do you want us to be able to be familiar with, used to, not have to take any notice of your voice?
You know that too Mark. You tell me.
Ok because it means we only respond to your voice if we want to. We don’t end up forced to have a conversation with you like we would if you spoke in a loud thundering audible voice. If you did that we’d all be flat on our faces. There’d be no point God.
Why would there be no point Mark? The god who accuses you says that if you are compelled to relationship, if you feel the pressure from him to pray and read your bibles and rid your lives of sin that you’ll be able to avoid hell and enter everlasting life. What is it that makes his lie so devastating? Why is there no point in being compelled to conversation with me?
Because you’re not trying to save us from hell, you’re trying to have a relationship with us. A friendship. You can’t have a relationship by force. That god, the god of religion is the god of force and domination. He wants us on our knees for hours pouring out our hearts, you want us having a conversation, a friendship, a back and forth conversation where we enjoy you, and you us. And if there’s anything that needs sorting out, fixing up, that’ll sort of just happen as part of the process – your Holy Spirit will help with that.
Quite right. Good conversation Mark. Well worthwhile.
Go away God!
The bible’s a funny book Mark.
Go away God! I don't find it amusing when you say things like that. The moment I let you open up on stuff like that it’s me that gets in the gun. In the old days they’d burn you at the stake for disagreeing with their perspective on the bible.
These days they blithely call you a heretic and start ranting to others that you’re deceived, evil blah blah blah. So go away please God I don’t want to know – “the bible’s a funny book”. I mean seriously!!
But I do want to talk about this.
God!! NO!!! I don’t want this discussion.
I just told you.
Actually Mark, shall I explain something?
Well alright, obviously you’re going to anyway. So be my guest.
I won’t if you don’t want Mark.
Oh whatever God. Go for it. Spill the beans.
If you’re sure.
Ok. This is from the one who sees the heart. I know the real reasons you do things.
But I’m always gentle about what I expose Mark. The real reason you don’t like me talking about things that challenge popular Christian teaching is not the controversy it causes. Be honest, you love controversy, anything for a reaction.
You could have fooled me God, the constant accusations that I’m a heretic and deceived wear me down.
Actually they don’t, they invigorate you, they bring the problem out in the open, expose the attitudes that Religion has slipped unnoticed into organised Christianity. Once seen you can attack and decimate them, you like that Mark. You’ve sworn an oath before me to destroy Religion, to make him cower. You know that. I know that.
Ok. Alright I admit it. So if that’s not the reason then tell me what is? Why don’t I like you dropping stuff like that on me? Because God one thing’s for sure, I don’t. I do not like it when you drop subjects on me like “The bible’s a funny book.” That just doesn’t sound like you God.
Exactly and there lies the problem. It’s not what others think, it’s what you think Mark. This whole idea, conversation like this with me, defies everything you’ve ever been taught about God, Jesus, Christianity, heaven and hell. It’s not everyone else’s religion that you’re worried about, it’s your own. You are still, after all these years and three books about it, still uncomfortable about this idea of talking back and forth with me.
Well God it’s so weird, you have to admit that! It’s not just the naysayers this sounds weird to, it sounds weird to me too!!
Alright good. Now you’re being honest. No it’s not weird at all Mark, just not taught. Not known. Unfamiliar. Like a toddler learning to walk. Something in that child tells them they were born for this, that walking is just the beginning of what they were born for – but something else screams “be careful you might fall.” When we speak like this your problem is you’re hearing the “be careful you might fall” voice.
So Mark shall we continue? I want to talk about the bible, it’s a funny book.
Do I have a choice?
Not really God. Not if I don’t want to upset you.
Mark I’m very difficult to upset. If your kids won’t talk about what you want to, how upset are you really?
Well sometimes, quite a lot. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but sometimes I get a bit shitty when they don’t want to talk about what I want to.
Exactly again Mark, but me, I’m not like that. I have nothing to be embarrassed about. I don’t get…
NO! Don’t say that word God. If I write that word as coming out of your mouth I’ll get excommunicated.
No you won’t. You’re not ‘communicated’ to anything anyway Mark, but you’d be surprised how hungry people are for the God that speaks like them, the God who’s not prissy, not a prude. The real God. Humans are screaming out for the real God, and religious people like you are putting them off.
Religious?? Man God that’s a bit blimmen hurtful.
Well Mark you are. The reason you don’t like me startling you with conversations about the bible being a funny book, or the racial strife between Pakeha and Maori, is that those subjects challenge your real perspective on me. You’re nailed hard to that god you think crucified his own son in your place. That god who’s focused on your sin, focused on getting you ‘pure’ to keep you out of hell.
Yes I knew you would crucify my son, but no I didn’t crucify him, didn’t need to punish someone. Yes I used the cross to defeat your enemy but not in the way you think I did. If you all listened to me instead of spending your lives telling me, you’d understand Mark.
Man God, you just stir this stuff up on purpose don’t you (smiling). If it was someone else you were talking to I’d laugh, think it funny, but somehow it’s not when you talk to me.
Yes it is. Very funny. You’re wanting to laugh right now. You love that I’m a God with a brain, a God who doesn’t buy Religion’s lies.
Ok fine. That’s what I love. Are you going to talk about why the bible’s a funny book or not??
I’ll take that as permission (smiling).
You said you were smiling?
Of course. You’re created in my image. You smile, which means I do too.
Ok, carry on God.
Mark the bible’s a funny book.
Alright I’ll humour you God, why is the bible a funny book?
Because it’s true, yet what so many people think it says is a lie. Because it’s not a riddle, the truth is there in plain sight, but it’s presented as though it was a riddle. Some things are not fully stated, others are stated in one way, and then later in the opposite.
Alright, ok God. Give me some examples. But before you do, you know this is a problem right? People think the bible is sacred, almost as though they think the pages themselves are somehow holy or something, so writing down these words of yours will have them up in arms.
As we’ve already discussed Mark, that’s not your problem so drop it. Your problem is that you yourself are incredulous that I’d say such a thing about the bible. It challenges your thinking.
Alright true God.
And Mark that’s the devil’s trick. He makes you think of the bible as some sacred document, a book to be careful of, a book to tread gently around, a book that can be offended in some mystic way. He lies. The bible is a bunch of stories about people and the way they spoke to me and I spoke back. Me. God. Not some lofty God, but me. Jesus. I’m the one who turned up the illegitimate child of a girl from Nazereth, the wrong side of the tracks. I’m not prissy, not precious, I invented the birth process, the bloody mess that leads to life. I’m a realist Mark. I have to be, I invented reality.
Your point God?
That the bible, if it really is documented history about humans and me, and it is, then it’s not to be treated religiously or carefully. It’s a book to be challenged and dug into.
Really. If I invite you to challenge me personally…
Isaiah 1:18: “Come let us reason together [‘yakach’: to decide, adjudge, prove, reprove]
If I invite you to reprove me, while I do the same to you, then obviously, without question I’m inviting you to do the same to the book that includes human’s words to me and mine back to them.
God that’s not how the bigwigs like to think of the bible. They don’t call it “human’s words to you and yours back to them.” They say in hallowed tones that it’s ‘your word’. Obviously saying it that way makes them sound important to themselves.
Mark they’re not alone. You like to sound important to yourself too.
Smiling. Ok true God. Point taken.
Mark the bible is not ‘my word’, it contains some of my words. Comparatively very few given that the heavens pour forth speech. I speak more words in a single day, every day Mark, than those recorded in the bible.
Oh no. You didn’t just say that God!!
I did Mark. Get over yourself. The bible isn’t ‘my word’, it’s some of my words along with a lot of human history. My ‘word’ is Jesus. My ‘words’ are the words that proceed from my mouth. Some of which are recorded in the bible, most of which are not.
Oh dear dear dear dear dear!
Yes. The problem is serious.
That’s not what I meant God!! You know that.
Yes. Just being clever Mark. Shall we continue?
You’re going to anyway, so yes let me have it, both barrels.
Ok Mark here’s the point. This conversation is just the introduction. The bible is a funny book. What you think it means it doesn’t. You think it’s incredibly important for religious reasons. You’re wrong. It’s important, actually far more important than any of you realises, but for reasons you don’t even understand. The bible contains truths, just inside the door of the book, that none of you ever get to. You’re too busy dissecting the passages in the door way of the book to get any further.
Whatever happened to the idea that listening to me led you to things you’d never heard before Mark? You’re all so busy trying to hear, and hear again all the things you already know. And yet you don’t know those things at all. Ask your friends who’ve given their lives to studying the bible, people like Mark Virkler, or Charity, or Baxter Kruger, Mark Keown, Bryden Black or Geoff Woodcock, they’ll tell you that the more one learns about the bible, the more one learns that you know almost nothing.
Even those popular passages, the ones you’re all fixated on, are largely misunderstood by almost all of Christendom. Including you. Especially including you.
You said that last bit God. Especially including me?
Of course. When you decide like you have to spend your life listening to me you quickly discover that actually you know nothing. Or like your great buddy Geoff Hill says, “you don’t know what you don’t know”.
Ok. As usual God, you start out talking about something simple – “the bible’s a funny book”, and suddenly we’re all over the blimmen planet of truth.
Stick with me Mark we’re going somewhere. The bible’s a funny book - it’s not about what you all think it’s about.
Oh lovely God.
Mark steady on… remember “Call to me and I will show you things you know nothing about.”
Ok, so explain why it’s a funny book God.
Two very simple examples Mark. We’ve talked about them both before but in a different context. But I’ll stick with them to make this easy for you. First is the Abraham story. People, well-meaning people, make the ridiculous assumption that the number of times I spoke to Abraham in the bible is the total number of times I spoke to Abraham. Honestly? You Christians need to recognise the bible is a brainy book and can’t be understood unless you use your brains when you read it. What have I told you about that topic Mark?
That the times you spoke to Abraham recorded in the bible, are simply the ones recorded in the bible?
Yes. That’s my point. You Christians make ridiculous assumptions about the bible, you included. You read something and you decide what it means and then deify what you think. You forget to ask me, you don’t know how because you think I’m confined to having to speak through scripture. Of course I speak through scripture. But Mark, sorry to offend you, I speak through Beatles songs and Harry Potter Novels too. I’ll speak through whatever I have to, I’m not precious remember.
What about you Mark? Can you only talk to your kids by txt, or are you happy to phone them, skype them and even just sit and talk with them?
Mark my second point, another bible story, is this. The bible makes it clear that arch angels, when speaking to the devil, in one situation at least, rather than rebuke him direct, called on me to rebuke him.
And yet in another passage the bible makes it clear that archangels wrestle with the prince of darkness themselves, with no mention of deferring the battle to me.
It’s a funny book Mark. It says one thing, and then another. You can’t build a doctrine on a passage. Why am I telling you this?
Because we need to listen to you speak direct to our spirits to explain what the bible does and doesn’t mean.
Exactly. How long before I can speak with you like friends, and not my religious servants? I spilled a lot of blood for the right Mark, as did the prophets. Will this be the generation that learns at last to hear me speak direct?
God shall I leave my husband?
(The importance of getting it right when you ask the tough questions.)
God I’ve got a difficult subject to discuss with you. People aren’t going to like it.
Welcome to the club. Anyone who tries to hear my voice, I mean hear it so clearly they could run their lives by it – they get in trouble.
Because hearing me that clearly threatens those who don’t.
God even that will get people’s backs up, make them think I’m saying that about myself.
Mark anyone can hear me as clearly as you, clearer if they want. It’s up to them. You’re nothing special in that regard. The other problem with listening to me is that I will tell you things no one’s ever heard before, and before you get too excited, that’s in the bible. I said it to Jeremiah – ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and mighty things that you don’t know anything about.’
That will worry people too God. Actually it will reeaally worry them. Us Christians like to stick with what we already know, we don’t like you saying stuff that doesn’t fit with what we already know.
Yes that’s what you Christians are like. But of course that’s not what the bible teaches. Read Paul’s letters and you’ll see that the things he heard from me were new to him. Although a great authority on scripture, I kept telling him things he knew nothing about.
Ok well I have a subject I need to ask you about God. Christians won’t like it, it’s tabu, they’ll think it’s not something one should ever ask you.
Mark every subject is one that you should ask me. The bible calls me ‘Mighty Counsellor’. So ask your question.
You already know what I’m going to ask God.
Yes, but I still ask Mark, it shows respect, starts a conversation. Remember what I said to Elijah when he ran from Jezebel; “What are you doing here Elijah?” I knew exactly what he was doing there, but I wanted to talk to him at his level.
God can you stop changing the subject, it’s as though you don’t want to discuss this.
Of course I do, but there’s time Mark. I love these conversations. I like poking subjects in the gaps when you take a breath, but fire away, ask your question.
(Smiling to myself) Man, I gotta like you God. OK here’s my question: I heard about a lady who came to hear Miriam and I teach at a church, we taught them how to have a conversation with you, and when she tried hers she thought she heard you say to leave her husband. So she did.
What’s the problem Mark?
GOD!!! You know what the problem is.
Yes of course, it’s a big problem, but I want to see if you know.
Well it’s huge God, I’m guessing her husband’s life has been completely destroyed, he’s probably even considered suicide, and I don’t know if there are any kids, but they’ll be scarred forever too.
God the wife will probably say the kids are happier now there’s no strife in the home, but that’s a cop out, any counsellor can tell you that. Everyone suffers huge damage in a marriage split. And then of course the Christians will say there is no way that you would ever tell someone to leave their husband. It’ll be a big mess. Although I imagine the wife is very happy, she’s out of a hurtful situation and probably telling herself you said she could.
And what do you say Mark?
Well I think it would be rare for you do so, that’s just me. The situation would have to be pretty terrible I think, but I’ve learned it’s dangerous to say “God would never say”…
I learned that years ago when a Pastor’s advisor told me I didn’t hear from God.
What happened to you is common Mark. Write it down. I want it recognised for what it is. It cripples you Christians. You live by rules and assumptions and forget to ask me.
Ok well our church had a big conference and the pastor urged us all to attend. So I planned to go, and as the conference approached I asked you if I should, and you said I should attend the first meeting…
Yes I did.
Ok good, but you said I should spend the rest of that weekend doing other things.
Ok well the pastor’s advisor said that proved I didn’t hear from God. He said the pastor is God’s voice to the church – so if the Pastor says go to conference, then that’s what God is saying, no questions asked.
Yes exactly what God??
Yes you were right to be horrified at such a comment.
Ok so God this lady thought you said to leave her husband – did you…actually no I don’t want to know!
Good. That’s not your place to ask, it’s her place to challenge me, to demand again and again to know whether she heard me right. And the longer she leaves it to do that, the more damage she will do.
But will she want to God?
That’s not your business either Mark. That’s between her and me too.
But God I feel like I need to explain a bit to people about how to hear you on tricky subjects like this. The potential to get it wrong is high if they’re in a marriage that’s hurting them and they feel they can’t go on.
It’s not your place to explain Mark, it’s mine.
Ok, well are you going to??
Here? Like right now??
Right now. Here’s how it works Mark. All those subjects – a woman who’s under pressure to abort her baby, a man who feels unloved by his wife and wants out, a teenager who wants to leave home, an old person who sees no hope and wants to end it all, a woman who thinks she’s gay and thinks I hate her.
No matter how difficult your situation, you can talk to me about it without fear of reprimand, or accusation. Don’t come to me and apologise, come and tell me how you feel. ‘No condemnation to those in Christ Jesus’ does NOT require sinless behaviour. If you’re in me, you’re in me, no matter what you just did or are planning to do. I talked to Cain before and after what he did.
So we just do whatever we like and you don’t mind??
Of course not Mark. I worry for you when you do things that harm you.
Will all those things you just listed harm a person?
Not all of them will harm, but all of them can.
God you’re supposed to be mad as hell about sin and operating a no-tolerance policy toward it. I’m at the top of the cult watch site in NZ because they say Miriam and I are heretics. Their blood boils when they hear the way you seem lenient when you talk to me.
What sort of God would I be if I couldn’t talk to people about those things? What sort of father would I be if I didn’t crouch down at their level, look them in the eye and ask how they were feeling - not tell them off, just put my arm around them and ask how they were feeling?
You Christians won’t let me be like that, you want me to be mad. Some of you even think I’ll send someone to hell if they take their own life. But if one of your kids were in any of those situations, you’d just want to sit with them. Maybe cry with them, maybe offer suggestions.
I wouldn’t be critical??
Not of your own kids no.
But I am of others God. Let’s be honest.
Yes. But with me there are no ‘others’ Mark. Everyone is my kid. So when they are in those situations I’m not that God you all want me to be. I’m not the judge. I’m the servant God.
So God are you saying if a person feels like you say to leave their partner, they should do it?
What then God?
If a woman thinks I’m saying to leave her husband she can just leave - or she can do something else.
What’s that God?
She can challenge me on it. Ask and ask. Like you teach people to do. It’s what the bible says in Matthew 7:7. She needs to test the spirits – what she’s hearing is either my Spirit or the enemy’s and she needs to test that – vigorously. She needs to have the wisdom to realise that the stakes are so high, the potential damage so vicious, that it’s critical she spend the time required to get this right.
She doesn’t have to. She can just fly the coup the moment she thinks I say to do so, or she can test the spirits. Ask, ask and ask again. It depends how serious she is about hearing my voice. Does she want to hear my voice, or is she just looking for an out and ready to jump the moment she thinks she has one?
But what do most do Mark?
Well the moment you say ‘they can’, they run with that. That’s all they wanted from you, permission. They don’t really want to know what you think.
So why would I say ‘they can’?
Because they can, Moses made that clear. And you never force your will on them. So they can, and you’ll tell them that if they ask, but that doesn’t mean you want them to. What you want is a conversation. You want them to ask. You want them to say “Yes, but shall I God?”
What did you do when Miriam left and you thought I said she’d be back?
I asked again and again to make sure.
About twice an hour. Sorry but I did.
No sorries Mark, I loved it. You know that already.
Ok so that’s about 32 times a day God. And I did it for five years before she came back, which is 58,400 times. It was a serious situation God, I wanted to be sure I’d heard you, it would hurt too many people if I got it wrong.
I wrote down the question and wrote back your answer in faith every time, and I could never get you to say anything else but that she would come back. It was driving me mad.
What else did I say?
That our separation was my doing and that I needed a whole lot of time to change and Miriam needed a whole bunch of time to heal from the damage I had done to her.
Mark the woman who thinks I say to leave, and the husband whose life is destroyed when she does, both need to hear this conversation you’re having with me. In a situation like this everyone is to blame. They both need to accept that.
Ok well the other thing you told me was that Miriam would come back, but that you weren’t going to make her.
How did you know for sure I had said those things Mark?
Well at first I wasn’t sure.
So how did you get sure?
I asked. Again and again and again. And then all over again. Eventually I realised that either I was totally deceived or you really had said that.
How long did that take?
Maybe the first three years God, of asking at least 32 times a day, probably more. And also, because the subject was such a biggie, I showed my conversations with you to others and asked their opinion. I wanted to hear you clearly on the subject.
So God are you saying that someone who thinks you’re saying to leave their husband or wife should ask you 36 times a day for three years?
No. I’m saying they should ask me until they could look me in the eye and say they are confident I am saying to do it, even with the damage their choice will do.
There aren’t any rules Mark. But if you wanted to make a rule for yourself it would be listen to me. If you want to live your life listening to me you’d better be prepared to ask and ask and ask until you know what I’ve said. Otherwise you should just get on with normal Christianity and only hear me from time to time in nudges and impressions.
Conversations with God: Oct 2017
I’m going to get you Religion if it’s the last thing I do. I’m going to make you wince and whimper and wish I was never born.
Ok so God tell me what you want to say to me right now?
Mark I’ve had enough of religion too.
Ok but God I’m just totally fed up with it.
Yes. Me too.
Yeah but God you’re not listening! I just want to have a vent. I don’t want an official, nice-enough-to-publish conversation with you about it. I’ve had enough God!! I want to tell you what I think about these mealymouthed, anal, nitpicking religious types.
They spend their lives ranting about their rule-bound, scripture-only-focused Christianity to other people’s audiences because they don’t have their own. Their message is so lifeless and boring that no one wants to listen to them; so they come and annoy the thousands of people I’m talking to.
God what’s with that?? I just plain don’t get it. The thing that really makes me shake my head is that so many of them are young. When we were that age, we had a bit more life, we understood the excitement of a relationship with you, not with the bible. That’s what their relationship is with, it’s the blimmen bible. Sorry God, I know it’s your word and all, but it’s not supposed to take the place of hearing you direct.
Don’t be sorry Mark. Remember Satan quoted scripture at me.
Well God it used to be much older people, but just as lifeless as this new younger group of religious gripers – they’d stand up in church, and read from the bible and then look all pious and say rubbish like, “May God bless the reading of his most holy word.” For goodness sake, no wonder the un-churched can’t relate to us. Actually come to think of it, I think I said something stupid like that myself once after I read out loud from the bible. But I got over it quickly when I realised how religious it all was.
When we were young, thousands of us, actually millions on millions of us stood up and said “ENOUGH!!”, “Enough of your religion”, we demanded that God speak to us direct, and you were to comply. You welcomed it!! We refused to buy into Religion’s lie that we needed to spend half our lives reading our bibles and quoting verses.
And yet the crazy thing was that at the same time, we read our bibles probably more than the stuffed shirts whose religion we were rebelling against. Of course the bible is your word, but you’re not bound by it in relationship any more than a human can only speak to his friends through txting.
But now all these kids, our children’s generation, are acting like a whole bunch of pre-Charasmatics, like hell-bent lunatics, an apt description in this case, hell-bent on blocking their own and everyone else’s ears to what your Spirit is saying. They leave me speechless as they chant out their boring mantras.
They say stuff like, “To read, to study, to meditate upon the words of the Bible, prayerfully, intentionally, faithfully and humbly, is to enter into the most wonderful conversation with the Living God.” Spare me God!! The intention is good, but us humans don’t talk like that, Religious Automatons might, but real people don’t.
They pretend a conversation with you, but what they’re doing is reading the bible, remembering popular interpretation, and pretending that it’s direct revelation from you. They’re not demanding to hear you speak direct to their spirits.
They’re too scared they might get it wrong. They have no vision to know what you’re thinking and so they rail against anyone with the courage to do so. They’re leading themselves and so many others to darkness. It gets my goat God!!! I’m serious, I’ve had enough of them I really have. Our generation wouldn’t have put up with them.
And God the thing that really ticks me off is that their own knowledge of scripture is so sadly lacking. They trot out their popular understanding of scripture and pretend they’ve heard it as direct revelation when clearly they haven’t.
I have a young mate who’s seriously seeking more contact with you, but he is left dismayed at the rule-bound dementia these people, mostly young like him, display. I’m not sure whether I’m madder at the youngsters who should have the balls to demand more than their ‘bible book club Christianity’, as my friend calls it, or those few older Zeds Zeds who lead them astray.
They go on and on about checking everything with the bible, and they seem to miss that I probably have a better command of scripture than they do. Yes you speak through scripture. You always have and I’m guessing you always will. But what about the people who have no scripture and yet still hear you.
How come those religious busybodies don’t get excited when they hear those stories? How come they don’t think “Wow, God speaks even without the bible”? It just makes me shake my head God, I think they’re so bible-mad that if you turned up in person and were speaking down on the beach at Mission Bay that they’d prefer to stay at home and read their bibles in case you said something on the beach that didn’t fit with their knowledge of scripture.
And I would Mark.
Would what God?
Say things that disagreed with their narrow view of scripture.
God that’s not nice, they and plenty of the normal not so religious Christians will think I made that up, they’ll think I’m putting words in your mouth, suggesting that you think those religious ones, those nitpicking ones who are always griping about my conversations have a narrow view of scripture.
They have such a warped, over-zealous view of scripture, that such a comment will hit them right where it hurts God. So although I like the idea of hitting them there because they’re starting to tick me off, that still doesn’t seem very nice God. It’s one thing for me to want take a swipe at them, but naughty to suggest that you do.
You’re not suggesting anything Mark. I am. And they’re not the only ones with a pitifully narrow view of scripture, you all have that. You Christians have an increasingly narrow view of scripture. You don’t have any real idea what it means, you just quote the well known verses and satisfy yourselves with the popular understanding of what they mean.
Ok. Yes you’re probably right God.
Very right Mark. You are personally friends with four doctors of theology, experts, far more expert than your nitpickers as you call them. And yet each of your friends, experts, doctors in scripture, admit that their views are way too narrow.
Oh man God!!! I like my expert mates, those doctors of theology and divinity buddies. They’re brainy and inspiring people. They know how to think, not like these predictably, boringly religious types I’m telling you off about.
Yes. I like them too. A lot. Mark they themselves admit that their views are narrow. That’s part of what drives their study. They know they’re only just getting started, which is why they don’t grandstand and tout their knowledge like the people you’re up against. They’re too busy trying to learn more.022
Okaaay. What’s your point God. I want to just vent, grumble, tell you I’m ticked off with these people who grizzle, who want to grandstand on my facebook page, and annoy my readers with their nasty narrow minded comments about how you’re not really God, because you don’t say what they think the bible says you say.
Because I’m annoyed, just want to ‘have a go’ I guess.
It’s more than that Mark.
What do you mean?
You’re perplexed. Unsure.
You know about what. You can’t figure out how these young people are so religious in their view of me.
Yeah, what’s with that God??? When we were kids, there was a whole generation of us encouraged by people like Loren Cunningham of YWAM, the Garratts of Scripture in Song, Winkie Pratney, Larry Norman, Keith Green, Barry McGuire. They did so much to encourage millions of us to discover that we could hear you. Just hear you. And now here are all these kids, our children’s generation, convinced they can only hear you if they read the bible. What on earth is that about???
And those who acknowledge it’s possible to hear you direct, still have to check everything that anyone, me included, hears from you against scripture. That’s a great idea, but without your Spirit to teach them they misconstrue scripture. And most of them don’t know enough of it anyway. They don’t realise that what they think scripture means is not necessarily what it means at all. They seem to have missed the idea that anything written down needs to be interpreted, and interpretations differ. These Zed Zeds and others mischievous busybodies are pretending to 'disciple' these well meaning youngsters, but are actually destroying what a generation of your greats did to set people free from Religion.
As I have often said Mark, Religion is the most powerful demonic force. It masquerades as truth while leading so many down to misery in my name.
I have no interest in bowling you flat with my glory. I’m not a flirt, or a show off, I want relationship, not compulsive adoration.
God I don’t know any more if I hear you when you say stuff about my business. I was sure you said that new client was going to come on board, but they haven’t. Not yet anyway.
Is not yet, not good enough Mark?
Well no, I guess it’s not. I thought you said it was going to happen this week, so now I feel like I got the whole thing wrong.
Actually you got part of the thing right, it is going to happen.
But not this week?
Not for a while.
Sounds like a cop out God. It’s easy for me to relax when you say that, but how do I know it will happen, if it doesn’t happen straight away?
How do you know it will happen when a human promises you something?
Depends on how reliable I’ve found them to be God.
Mark you understand that things don’t happen overnight when a human promises them. You don’t evaluate the truth of what they’ve said based on how quickly the thing happens – if you think they’re reliable you’re prepared to trust what they said said will come to pass.
So are you having issues with how reliable you think I am Mark?
Oh man God!! I guess this more about trusting you like a good Christian should? What does that even mean?
No. Making a choice to trust someone, a human or me, is a different matter – related, but different. What I’m talking about is how reliable you’ve found that someone, a human or me, to be. I’m not asking ‘will you trust me’, but rather ‘have you found me to be trustworthy?’
So how reliable have you found me to be Mark? I’m not asking you to trust something you don’t know about, you and I have had a fair amount of dealings, done a lot of the down and dirty aspects of life together. I don’t want to know if you will trust me Mark, I can see you’re trying. I’m just asking a plain old question; how reliable have you found me to be?
Pretty good God.
Well you said that my son would be cured of Leukaemia, and years later you said my baby daughter would live even though she was dying a number of times every day, and then you told me my wife would come back when she left me.
And OK everything you said would happen did. It took 14 years for the picture you gave me about my daughter to come to pass, and five years before my wife came back, and two years before the doctors said my son was out of danger, but ok, yes it happened. So yes, I guess you’re reliable.
Good, glad to hear it Mark (smile). So if you’ve been wondering whether you can hear me talk about your business, wondering if you get that stuff wrong, what sort of things do you think you can hear me about?
I don’t actually know anymore God. It makes me doubt everything when you say something, then it doesn’t seem to happen. And then to make it even more confusing, I think I heard you say yesterday that when listening to you, words like ‘will be’, can be mistaken for ‘can be’, or ‘has been’?
You think Mark?
Well ok, I’m pretty sure you said that.
Yes. I’ll explain. Words can be mistaken when talking to anyone. How often do you get the wrong impression when talking to a human? It makes you want to stop talking to them, but most of the time you have no real choice, you have to keep talking to them. With me it’s different, I am the easiest friend to shut down on, I’ve designed it that way. You can easily send me away, easily drop and forget me
Feeling bad God.
Don’t. I’ve designed it that way. It has to be easy to block me out, otherwise we couldn’t have a relationship.
What God? I don’t understand that.
Yes you do. The only reason we can have a proper sort of relationship, a friendship, not a ‘mighty God with overawed human’ religious sort of relationship, is that I don’t make myself overpoweringly obvious.
Okaaaay. Just thinking that through God.
Good. Do. Mark, you can’t have a friendship sort of relationship when the other person is overpowering. If Bob Dylan phoned you up and said he just wanted to be your mate you’d find it difficult. You’d be so overwhelmed if that happened that you’d not be able to relate to him like one of your real friends. Bob would have to ‘make himself small and un-Dylanish’. If Bob wanted to have a proper friendship with you, he’d have to disguise himself as someone else. It’s the same for me – I have to hide a lot of myself, disguise it. If you could see me in all my glory you wouldn’t have a chance of shutting down on me.
Sometimes I think that would be good God.
Actually it wouldn’t. You’d be an adoring fan, not a friend – a slave, not a buddy. You think it’s my Holy Spirit reminding you of my glory, it has to be right? But actually no. When my Spirit gets involved I come as an illegitimate baby in a stinky barn. When the Spirit gets involved you’ll always find me ‘making myself a little lower than the angels’, washing feet, arriving on a donkey. I’m not invisible because of your sin Mark, I’m invisible because I’m invisible.
God hang on! There are too many big concepts here, all coming at me at once.
You’re understanding them all Mark. Don’t panic. Here’s what I’m saying; Satan reminds you of my power and glory, my overwhelmingness and you think it has to be me saying those things, surely Satan wouldn’t?? But yes he would. Having scared you a bit with my tremendousness, a tremendousness that I hide from you – argue with that if you want Mark - but it’s obvious in nature and in scripture. I HIDE MYSELF! I don’t run around making a big show of myself. Almost never.
Alright true enough God, carry on.
Ok so having given you a warped picture of me as God the wonderfully, overwhelmingly glorious and mighty one, and told you that you are unworthy, just a worm and oh so lucky to be forgiven by me, Satan then plants thoughts you think are your own, like ‘why don’t you show yourself God??’ He does that because it is completely contrary to my nature. That’s what a lie is like. Contrary. He paints me as tremendous, glorious, ever-powerful, and of course I am all that, but I am invisible to the human eye, clearly visible to the spirit, but not to the eye. Always hiding myself (in plain sight) on purpose.
On purpose God?
On purpose. I’m like a woman. Wonderful. Mysterious, ever-powerfully able to change so much in your life. But a true woman hides all that, you have to find it, search for it. Prostitution and pornography is the overt display of that which is meant to be uncovered by a true lover, not displayed to all.
Satan prostitutes my glory, pretends I want to display it like some mad cosmic flirt. He lies. I keep my power hidden so that it is only seen by those who want to see it. Why? Is it yet another of Christianity’s tests? No, that again is a lie of his about my nature. I hide myself so as not to overwhelm you, so as to allow a relationship. You can’t have a relationship with a prostitute, everything hidden is too much on display. There’s no pursuit, no unfolding, no discovery, it’s all there already. It’s no different with me. I want you to discover, unfold, get to know me. I have no interest in bowling you flat with my glory. I’m not a flirt, a show off, a prostitute, I want relationship, not compulsive adoration.
Conversations with God: Sept 2017
The Christian Crazies And their Sept 23 nonsense!
God some looney prophet is scaring people with the nonsense notion that ‘the rapture’ is going to happen on September 23 – where on earth do we get these crazy Christians??
More than one person is spreading that rumour Mark. Lots of people are running scared.
Honestly?!? Oh man God, where do we get these people for goodness sake??
Humans Mark. Just ordinary people.
Surely not God!! Spare me, pagan tribes have been looking at the sky and thinking it was going to fall, pretty much ever since the world began. And now these people, with full access to a normal education, are making a mockery of you by spreading this nonsense. It makes me cross God.
Because they could be listening to me, but instead they listen to the father of lunacy.
Well do something about it then please God, for goodness sake! Get these blimmen whackos out of the public eye!! The rapture on September 23? The end of the world? The birth of the church? What will they come up with next?? You and I both know God that nothing like this is going to happen on September 23!!
Yes I know that, but how do you know it?
Well God seriously? Apparently the stars are going to be in the same configuration as when you were born on September 23. So what?? The sun rose on the morning you were born too, that’s a fairly significant galactic event, but it doesn’t mean that every time the sun rises, we’re in for the rapture.
Yes. But how do you know for sure it’s not going to happen?
Well I asked you just now. And you said I’d be dying at a ripe old age, and so would my kids, and their kids after them.
Yes. But why did you ask?
Because I heard that some drop kick Christians were running around scaring people with the wild idea that because the planets do something unusual on September 23, that the rapture is going to happen. I mean seriously? Surely these self-appointed prophets know better than this?? They’re peddling bull#@&t God!
Sadly they don’t Mark.
Because they don’t know how to hear me. Period. They’re lost. Deaf. Have no idea how to hear me. Nada. They’re barking up the wrong tree and listening to their enemy.
But God they’re pretending they know exactly how to hear you.
Well they don’t. They listen to him instead and think it’s me. They listen to him condemn them for their faults, and then they pass that condemnation on to others. Just like the Pharisees did. They listen to him demand extra service to me, and they load that on others too. They listen to him demand they read more bible, pray more prayers, sing more worship. It’s all rules Mark. Rules, rules and more rules. His rules. Not mine.
He’s already got them fooled into thinking his voice is mine, so now this whole September 23 thing is so easy for him to slip in. They’re gullible and up for any rubbish, because THEY DO NOT KNOW HOW TO HEAR ME. So many men and women teaching the church, have no more idea than a goat how to hear me. Does that concern you Mark?
Concern me?? To be honest no! I’m over it God. Up to here with it. Those weirdos can stew in their own silly rubbish. What concerns me is that they are telling the poor unsuspecting, unchurched about their crazy ideas. I’m just hoping my unchurched friends, people who I like and respect, don’t hear this latest round of Christian craziness. They’re the ones I’m concerned about. I don’t want these numb nuts telling them that you’re going to turn up and take all the lovely Christians away, and then thrash the poor buggers who are left. Spare me God!! Where do these people get this crap???
You know exactly where they get it Mark, from the father of crap.
God you said crap! Hah!!
Mark I invented crap, remember. Without that function, you’d be doomed. Ask a doctor. But back to the September 23 lie -- my suggestion to the church is stop listening to this prophet and that, and start listening more to me. “You do not need that any man teach you, because the spirit teaches you, stick with what the Spirit says.” Eph: 3:10
But nobody knows how to listen to you God!!! That’s why they’re all so eager to listen to anyone who proclaims themselves a prophet. That, and they’re all too busy being bullied by Satan into trying to please you with super-Christian-effort.
Well then teach them. And teach them to teach others how. Start an army.
Nope. Not me God. If you ever catch me having anything to do with starting a religion or a movement of any kind, shoot me right there and then. I’m trying to help people listen to you, so that they can be free from being dominated by this one or that.
Mark if you teach others to hear me, they, not you, will overthrow this lie that I only speak through the prophets, or the bible, depending on which lie they’ve bought into. I don’t want to speak through a man, I want to speak to each of you, just on my own. Yes I’ll use the bible, and I’ll use what others teach you too, but much more importantly, and much more often, I just want to talk direct to you.
Well that’ll be a shock for all the ‘I’m-the-big-man-of-God’ types God.
It’ll be a shock to more than just them Mark. On one end you’ve got the ‘God-only-speaks-through-the-bible’ fundamentalist lie, and on the other you’ve got the ‘listen-to-the-mighty-man-(or-woman)-of-God’ lie. I’m not coming to whisk you all away and thrash all the ‘naughty ones’ on September 23. Sorry but that’s not how it goes down. It will be just another day. It will have plenty of evil and plenty of good, just like any other day. But I tell you what I am doing, right now. I’m not waiting till September 23, I’m doing it right now.
I am beginning to crush the systems of control that find my people obedient to the direction and whims of this leader or that, and unable to hear me for themselves. This is the very thing that Martin Luther and so many others have spoken against, the control of God’s message by mere men. And it’s happening again. I am going to set people free from all that.
So Mark, if the September 23 Rapture is more of the enemy’s lies, why would he lie about that sort of thing?
God he’s been driving my generation, and the one before, to be rapture-mad for the last 40 plus years!!
Because it takes our eyes off living in the world you have given us, a beautiful world, it makes us not want to bother doing a great job of the world and our time in it, because hey, we’re going home soon right??
And what do you think of that Mark?
God it makes my blood boil. You made us to work and play and live and have a fantastic time on earth. To make the place better for our having been here, but the bloody devil has us all running around waiting to be beamed up to heaven, and hassling the poor unchurched to ‘get saved’ so they can come too. You want us to enjoy and build each other, not harass in a mass spiritual panic.
Exactly. That will do for now.
But God I wanted to talk about Winkie Pratney and Dennis Peacocke, and a number of other very smart men, and the stuff they’ve got from you around this subject of not trying to run away from the world, but actually building it.
We can talk about that later Mark.
Religion gets in the way of my voice. (It does NOT make it easier for you to hear me.)
Ok so good morning God.
Yes what God?
Yes it’s a good morning.
Did you honestly say that God? Did we honest-to-goodness, just go through that little exchange? I mean, I know it’s normal for you and me to talk like that now, but I still find it unbelievable some days. Crazy, weird. It seems to defy common sense.
It defies Religious sense Mark, but Religion and his servants have been defying me since the beginning.
And bang! We’re straight into it again God! Why does talking with you always have to have such deep and important meaning like this. It gets so deep so quickly – it’s always like a philosophy or theology session. Deep rational thinking.
Mark it’s not because of me, it because of you, everything with you has to be like that.
You mean me personally.
Yes. That’s the way you personally like things. Deep. You want to know what’s really going on, always. You want to know what others are thinking. You want to know what I am thinking. You were the little boy that always asked ‘Why?’. You still are. That’s how I made you. Some are like you, some are not.
And because you’re like that, I talk to you like that. Do you get that?
Yes I guess.
I talk the way you want me to talk. I am comfortable talking every different way, but you are only comfortable talking your way. That’s fine, when talking to you I talk your way. Philosophical, theological, rational, deep.
Far out… mind boggles God.
Yes. But mine doesn’t, so that’s the fun of it for you. Mind stretching.
Ok, God everything I was ever taught about you, makes an exchange like that highly unlikely.
Well sin I suppose. I’m VERY sinful. Very wilful, very selfish. I’m not supposed to be able to hear you when I’m sinful.
Have you read the bible Mark?? Name me a perfect person other than me, Adam and Eve.
Ok fair enough. So how come we think we have to be better people before we can hear you?
Religion and his dark servants have lied to you.
Demonic presences, dark angels, strongmen. Religion, every religion, is a cesspool of them. Laughing and screaming in delight as they lead you away from God, whilst you, all the while, think you are walking toward me.
Shoot God!! That’s a bit heavy.
Yes it is. Far too heavy a burden on those who think they are heading toward me.
God you know that’s not what I mean! What I meant is that’s a heavy thing to say about religion.
You talk about it like that Mark.
Yes but that’s me. I’m not God. I have a bad attitude about Religion. And I’m human so I’m allowed to. But you’re God, so you have to be way nicer. I’ve had it up to there with all the crap that people get fed by Religion. If I could get my hands around his throat I’d strangle him like he strangles so many who start out hungry for you. All his rules, all his expectations – “more prayer, more praise, more meetings, more serving, more tithing”, and all of it apparently what you want. But obviously it’s not what you want at all God.
No it’s not. And I’m going to get even heavier with Religion Mark. I am doing things that will crush much of what has become accepted as normal by you Christians. It’s all going out the door. I don’t what your systems, I want you. Religion lays heavy burdens on people, and then never lifts a finger to help them. I don’t like that Mark. I don’t like it at all. Imagine how you’d feel if you saw someone mistreating your grandson.
I’d be livid God, wanting to belt them.
Yes quite. And Mark when I see Religion mistreat people, pretend that he is leading them closer to me, when he is actually leading them away? When I see that I get cross.
Okay, far out, this is getting… well, I don’t know God, a bit over the top. We were just talking about the morning.
That’s how you like it remember. Meaning. Deep. Even the bible is full of reference to the morning being good and blessed by me. But why get legal Mark, we’re just talking.
True. But it is weird God. And I still find it hard to get my head around. It doesn’t fit with what we were all taught was normal Christianity. You’re not supposed to turn up for a chat about little stuff like the morning!?!
Really? I’m God remember. I’m not vindictive or oppressive or fault-finding like you’ve been taught. Not even looking for guilt like you’ve been taught. But I am God. That bit was right, so I do get to make my own mind up about things. And I made my mind up before time began, to turn up for a chat every morning. You already know that.
Well God when this first happened, all my pastors said that you weren’t saying what I thought you were saying at all. That my conversations with you were misguided, and not you at all. They said I should try and hear you less, and just read the bible more. They said The Freedom Diaries was a dangerous book, and they’ve since poisoned a whole raft of other pastors against it.
But there are thousands more pastors who are for it Mark. And anyway, you’ve made unwise comments about others before today, so what’s the big deal if they do the same to you?? It’s pretty typical behaviour for you humans. You’ve told people that certain people’s work for me is questionable, when actually I was very happy with what they were doing. ‘Live and let live’ is my recommendation Mark.
LUKE 9:49-50 “Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”
ACTS 5:38 “Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”
Ok true. I guess I’ve probably criticised others working for you more than I realise.
A lot more Mark. A lot more! So what do you think, does this conversation we’re having seem like me?? Forget about your Religious background, and whether this conversation fits with that. Does this conversation feel like what your spirit knows about me??
Feel God? What my spirit knows?
Yes. In your spirit, you know exactly what I’m like. Your religious mind, shuts it off, but your spirit is hearing me constantly. Your religion gets in the way of my voice, rather than making it easier to hear.
Ok well yes, this sure does seem like you.
That’s good. It is me. You’re getting better at this.
It still seems so foreign though God.
That you would speak like this. That God, actual God, would speak back and forth.
And what other bits?
That you’d have a little exchange like you did above, almost tongue-in-cheek. Almost like you were having me on in some way, playing with me.
Yes. I enjoy this as much as you.
I do Mark. I enjoy our discussions. I look forward to them, even more than you do. You think that I do this for your sake, and of course I do. But I do it just as much for my own.
The damnable, bald-faced, Satanic lie. The lie that God only speaks through the bible.
God I think you said earlier today, that you want to talk about the lie…
Yes I do Mark. I want to expose the lie.
Are you sure?
I’m sure. The lie has gone on too long. Most know it’s a lie, but are afraid to expose it, afraid they might be misunderstood, afraid people will misunderstand and shun them.
I’m a bit concerned about that myself God.
Don’t be. I want this said. You’re not the only one who’s going to say it. Many of you are hearing me tell you to say this, but you’re worried it might not be me. That’s because this is the news your enemy is terrified will get out.
Ok, I’m happy to do it then God, happy to expose the lie, as long as you’re really sure. This will shock some people God. Are you sure you want to shock people??
You know the bible verses about that Mark. Plenty of them. Verses that make it clear that shocking is often necessary. Verses about that, and stories about this one or that, saying things that shock and concern. People moved by me to break things apart. Remember what Ahab said about Elijah?
Yes. It’s the verse before my favourite verse, my absolute favourite. “Is that you oh troubler of Israel?”
Yes. My heroes have always been seen as trouble makers.
Well get on with it Mark.
You mean expose the lie?
Expose the lie.
Go on Mark, do you have the courage?
God are you challenging me??
Ok then, I’m up for it, I’ll speak it out.
‘on with it then Mark.
Ok God you’re talking about the lie, the vicious, mischievous lie that God only speaks through the bible.
Yes what God?
Yes it’s a lie.
God somehow I’d rather that I had said it. It seems pretty scary to hear you say it yourself.
It’s a lie Mark.
Ok then, you want to expose the lie that we don’t need to listen for your voice in any other way. The lie that the bible is enough, the lie that we don’t need to hear you in the Spirit, don’t need to listen for your voice direct to our spirits.
Yes that lie. You’re doing well. You’ll get in trouble for this, but be so thankful you were born in this generation. Men have been burned at the stake by the Religion and his servants, and burned for much less than exposing this lie.
Yes. You’re hitting right at the heart of the Satanic Kingdom Mark. Satan’s lie that the bible is so wonderful that you don’t need to listen to me.
Ok God, I’ll take it from here – you’re talking about the lie that takes away the beauty of hearing your voice. ‘The gentle voice’ as my mate Daniel Walker says. Your sometimes gentle, sometimes hilariously funny, sometimes melodic voice. The voice as you called it in John 5:30, the voice that whispers, sings and hums words to us – whole wonderful sentences to us, full paragraphs to us. The lie that robs us of all that, and makes us so, soooo religious and rule-bound.
Yes. You’re doing well. And it is a lie Mark. It’s time you stopped pussyfooting around the subject. When someone tells you that the bible is the only way I speak, don’t worry about offending them, just call them on the lie. Because it is. It’s a damnable, corrupt and sinister lie. It stops my people hearing my voice. Imagine someone convinced your kids that the only way to hear you was reading your emails. Imagine someone prevented you from speaking direct to them. You’d be angry. I am Mark. Angry. Not with people but with the father of that lie. I want you to put you hand over his mouth Mark. Push him back. Command him silent.
Whoa God! You’re getting all worked up. Wow.
You love it Mark, you love it when you sense me rumble. So stop worrying about being mistaken for someone who doesn’t value the bible. You’ve authored a book filed with bible verses. Don’t worry about what people think, just speak what I have told you. Get on with the job! Of course I speak through the bible. But I speak more into a person’s heart, much more than I do than I do through the bible. There, I’ve said it. Now, let the battle begin.
Of course more Mark. Think about it. Even those literate enough to read, and wealthy enough to have constant access to the bible, you are only going to be reading it for a small part of the time. You’re human! But you can be listening to me whenever you have a question you would normally ask yourself. You’re always asking yourself this question or that. It’s a human thing. But imagine if, instead of asking yourself all those questions, you asked me and received answers direct to your mind and spirit. Mark it’s not practical to find a bible and rummage through the pages, every time you have a question.
God there are plenty of church bosses who are deeply worried about that idea. They’re worried that if people put too much emphasis on hearing you, that they might make a mistake, might hear you wrong.
Yes. And Mark if the Pharisees, bible experts, could get scripture so wrong that they horribly murdered the God of their scriptures, then it’s clear that reading the bible, is just as dangerous as listening to me.
Mark I want the naysayers, the bible-pharisees to stop and think, I want them to answer these questions… I want them to stop burdening others with so many rules about how I do and don’t speak. I want them to stop shutting up the door to those who just want to hear me, to those tired of Religion’s rules and regulations.
Ok God. A bit rude…
Overdue rude Mark. Ask them this; they’re the bible experts, they know that I promised that after I had gone, the Holy Spirit would come and speak. So where do they get the idea that the voice of the Holy Spirit would only last until the bible was canonised? What a ridiculous idea.
You Christians need to start thinking Mark. Why would I do that? Why would I speak to you one day, and then the day the bible is finally canonised, suddenly stop speaking? Give me one good reason a loving Father would do that. You Christians have to stop peddling Religion’s silly lies. He’s bad enough, doing damage enough, without you helping him spread his mischief.
One good reason God? They seem to have way more than just one!!!
Yes plenty of reasons Mark, and all of them a sham, smoke and mirrors Mark. A lie.
You’re pretty het up about this God??
You have no idea Mark, if you could see the centuries of people robbed of the chance to hear my voice. Robbed by this lie that I only speak through the bible. That lie is one of the ‘gods’ of Satan’s unholy trinity.
Yes. The three Satanic Majesties – the unholy trinity. The first of those three great dark majesties, is that you must constantly be thinking about, and trying to improve on, and confessing your faults.
Then there’s the lie that I only speak through the bible. And yet I am always speaking Mark. I have never stopped. Do you honestly think that I, the God of heaven and earth, am bound by a book? Honestly? That I can only speak through those written words? Honestly??
Matt 4:4 Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
Ok that’s two, but there are three?
Yes. That you must listen to the priests if you want to hear me. Religion has always had its priests, always fooled you that the safest way to hear me is through them. It’s a lie Mark. The true priests don’t want you believing that any more than I do. They want you hearing for yourself. It’s not their job to hear for you.
1 John 2:27 “You do not need any man to teach you, but the Spirit that you have received teaches you. Remain in him.”
God I’m resisting the urge to reprimand you and tell you to please not talk like this, it will only get people’s backs up.
Well, that’s the unholy trinity Mark. There it is. Three great lies, three satanic majesties. Each lie governed and managed by a major dark angel presence, a strongman.
Exactly. And Mark be honest with yourself, you don’t actually really care about getting people’s backs up, not if they are constantly preventing others from listening to my voice. My cool, clear, healing voice. You think you do, but actually you don’t. You’ve had enough of pussyfooting, and so have I. It’s time Religion was silenced. His mischief must stop. Yes of course I speak through the bible, but equally, and more often, far more often, I speak to men’s hearts. Direct. And women, and children. I speak to humans. Direct. And no, they don’t have to be good. They don’t have to be ‘saved’, they just have to be human. The bible makes that clear Mark. I spoke to people whatever they were like. And I’m still the same God.
The bible is a wonderful book, but my voice is an even more wonderful thing. Yes I speak through the bible. But how did the early church hear me, how did John hear me, how did I myself hear my Father? Only through scripture?? Pah!! Use your brains Mark. All of you, use your brains. You must start using them. If you want to win the world, you need to engage your brains and see the ridiculous lies Religion tells you for what they are.
And Mark, what about the centuries of Christians, who couldn’t read, what about them? How did they hear from me, when they couldn’t read the bible anyway? Come on, answer me that?
God you’re preaching to the converted.
Yes. But you’re not. Tell them. Tell them to use their brains and stop preventing others from hearing me.